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Gender Stereotyping of Women in Contemporary Magazine Advertisements
Exaggerated Portrayal of Sexualized Beauty Ideal, Internalization of Gender Stereotypes, Consequences on Women’s lives, Cross-Cultural Examination of South Korean Women, and Educational Interventions!

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Pariya Sripakdeevong (Will) Psychology of Gender & Race Research Paper April 29, 2010

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INTRODUCTION The ways women are depicted in media reflect and also influence feminine values and expectations of a particular society. Magazine advertisements are a conventional and influential media source for women; a study reports 47% of women in United States having read a magazine on the previous day (D. Roberts et al. 2005)1. Thus, magazine ads “shape the status and roles of women…and influence the values and attitudes of the society as a whole” (Hovland et al., 2005; p.887)2. However, the portrayals of gender roles in magazine ads are often exaggerated. Albert Bandura commented on the “pervasive cultural modeling of gender roles” that depicts women as being dependent and confined to domestic roles, although these representations do not actually “fit the common vocations…in real life”(Bussey & Bandura, 1999; p.37)3. Additionally, stereotypical gender conventions in magazines are becoming increasingly pervasive and increasingly global with today’s advancement in communication technology. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the role magazine ads play in perpetuating the exaggerated portrayal of women in stereotypical ways, in order to understand the well being of women across the world. This paper will examine the ways in which women are portrayed in contemporary magazine ads, the process by which women internalize these media portrayal, and the negative consequences that arise from such internalization. Furthermore, the cross-cultural elements of Western gender stereotypes in magazine ads conventions will be explored through the example of South Korean women. Findings suggest that magazine ads depict women in sexualized ways and encourage them to put beauty as their primary goals. Internalization of these gender-stereotyping portrayals may lead to serious negative consequences in various perspectives of women’s lives. Moreover, these trends are not confined to United States. Thus, the last section will discuss and evaluate current intervention methods and suggest future research directions.

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DISCUSSION I. Gender Stereotyping in Modern Magazine Advertisements Messages in magazine advertisements emphasize gender relation as power relations, with female being less powerful (Hare-Mustin & Marecek, 1988)4. In a classic magazine content analysis study, Erving Goffman demonstrated that women are exclusively depicted as mothers, as childlike, or as sex objects, which represent the traditional female roles (Goffman, 1979)5. However, there have been criticisms of the study’s applicability for contemporary magazines, since the study was conducted during the 1970s. Goffman classified depictions of women in magazines into categoriesa that all suggest submissive role of women that may not be present in modern times. This raises the question of whether depictions of modern women are free from gender stereotypes. Are women now portrayed objectively and equally to men? Research suggests that women are increasingly portrayed as independent from stereotypical gender roles. For example, a content analysis of US magazines from 1979 to 2000 indicated decrease in portrayal of female models lowering themselves physicallyb (from 22.2% to 7.5%). The study also found that advertisers are increasingly promoting products more broadly for both women and men (eg. power tools for women and cosmetics to men) (Hovland et al., 2005)2. Moreover, Chung (1990)6 suggested a dramatic increase in depiction of women having freedom from traditional roles (i.e. having a career and enjoying their own social activities). Consequently, a later replication of Goffman (1979)5 added an ‘Independence/Self-assurance’c category in women’s magazine content analysis (Kang, 1997)7.

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Six categories: relative size, feminine touch, function ranking, family scenes, ritualization of subordination, and licensed withdrawal b A sub-category of Goffman (1979)5’s ritualization of subordination category, defined by person bowing down or bending body to show bashfulness or subordination c Person appears independent and self-assured explicitly or implicitly
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Yet, in addition to adding the ‘Independence/Self-assurance’ category, Kang (1997)7 also added the ‘Body Display’d category. Women are now less frequently depicted as housewives and more likely depicted as independent, but they are also more likely depicted in sexualized ways. Sullivan and O’Connor (1988)8 found a 60% increase in portrayal of women in purely ‘decorative’e roles from 1970 to 1988. Furthermore, Hovland et al. (2005)2 (the content analysis from 1979 to 2000 discussed above) found that although 13 of 16 items of stereotypical feminine depictions went down across time, one of the items that did not go down but increased was depiction of women ‘Lying or sitting on a bed or floor’f. Thus, the increase in depiction of women being free from traditional gender roles also accompanies the increase in use of sexually appealing female models, body display, and nudity in ads (Chung, 1990)6. Soley & Kurzbard (1986)9 suggested that female nudity and erotic content had become commonplace in contemporary US magazine ads by the mid1980s. Therefore, portrayal of gender stereotypes in magazines has not been eliminated, but has changed form into subtle depictions of women as sex objects. The definition of desirable women has simply changed from domesticity to sexiness. Although messages in contemporary magazines bring less pressure for women to be submissive housewives to attract men, they still encourage women to attract men by achieving media’s beauty standards. Women are still dependent upon men’s judgment. One of the dominant themes in women magazines is self-presentation: to be sexy in order to gain attention from men (M. Duffy & Gotcher, 1996)10. Contemporary magazines are filled with articles and tips aimed towards self-improvement, such as how to look more attractive by loosing weight (Thomsen, Weber, & Brown, 2002)11. Thus modern women, despite not explicitly depicted as being economically and socially dependent on men, are encouraged to think of themselves as sexual !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
Person wears revealing, short, or tight cloths or is shown nude (Guideline for coding clothes: tight-fitting clothes; shirts unbuttoned to reveal cleavage or chest; skirts shorter than mid-thigh; shorts exposing buttocks; ripped or torn clothing; see-though clothing; sheets, blankets, coats, etc to conceal nudity; explicit or implicit nudity) e Women appearing idle, featured in ads purely for sexual appeals f A sub-category of Goffman (1979)5’s ritualization of subordination category, defined models physically lying/sitting on bed or floor suggesting sexual appeals
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Gender Stereotyping of Women in Contemporary Magazine Advertisements

objects that are not complete unless they attract men (Garner at al., 1998)12. Although these messages are subtle, their impact is comparable, if not greater, to earlier explicit gender stereotyping messages. II. Internalization of Gender Stereotyping Messages Cultural perpetuation of beauty standards in magazine ads may lead to detrimental consequences on women’s lives, if women internalize these gender stereotyping messages. This section investigates why prevalent stereotypical portrayal of women in ads would cause women to internalize media’s beauty ideals, through discussion of theoretical explanations and empirical evidence. We learn by observing the social world and are reinforced to act correspondingly, according to Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1977)13. Bussey & Bandura (1999)3 use the Social Cognitive Theory to explain how representation of gender role in media affects women’s behaviors. The theory stresses the importance of ‘modeling’—“one of the most pervasive and powerful means of transmitting values, attitudes, and patterns of thought and behavior” (Bussey & Bandura, 1999; p.16)3—in promoting stereotypical gender conduct. Women are susceptible to taking magazine models as their model and vicariously learn their beauty standards. Despite knowing that these standards do not reflect the norms of how women look in real life, women are aware that mainstream media culture is endorsed by society. Hence, women are reinforced to achieve beauty ideals due to the positive associations tied with them. Alternatively, the Cultivation Theory focuses on the symbolic environment in media that affects women’s attitude of how the world really is rather than on behavioral reinforcement as Social Cognitive theorists argued. George Gerbner explained how being exposed to media messages causes individuals to gradually cultivate beliefs about the world that coincide with messages they receive (Gerbner et al., 1994)15. He identified ‘heavy viewers’ as being more influenced by the way the world is framed in media that they come to believe it is more consistent with the real world.

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However, there have been criticisms on how Gerbner defined ‘heavy viewers’ and ‘non-heavy viewers’ with the defining line of four hours of media consumption per day. This underplays the importance of individual differences. Unlike the Social Cognitive Theory that stresses how the degree to which internalized media standards actually reflect a woman’s behavior depends on her unique self-efficacy and socio-cultural structure, the Cultivation Theory assumes great passivity and little influence of real-world experiences in women accepting the framed world as ‘real’. There have also been criticisms on how empirical evidence of the theory relies heavily on correlation studies that do not infer causation. Nevertheless, these correlation studies supporting the Cultivation Theory bought significant understanding of the relationship between media consumption and endorsement of gender stereotypes. For example, one study found positive correlation between amount of magazine consumption and belief that sexualized beauty standards should be achieved (Zurbriggen & Morgan, 2006)16. The researchers suggested that media exposure constrains women’s conception of femininity by putting physical attractiveness at the center of their value. Thus, consumption of gender stereotyping conventions in magazine affects women’s conception of how femininity and sexuality are in the real world. Furthermore, individuals also have the basic drive to compare themselves to outside images, in order to evaluate their own attitudes and abilities, according the Social Comparison Theory (Festinger, 1954)17. However, although the theory argues that individuals tend to compare themselves to those who are similar (such as peer groups), research suggests that women also compare themselves to unrealistic models in magazine ads just as frequently (Engeln-Maddox, 2005)18. Women’s magazine contents often promote self-improvement of beauty, thus encouraging women to compare their features to the unrealistic and unattainable bodies of female models (Wykes & Gunter, 2005)19. This can lead to detrimental consequences, especially if the media world is seen as a realistic representation of the world as the Cultivation Theory suggests. Given that women

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perceive the idealized media images as more realistic than they actually are, women would be more likely to use upward social comparison (comparing themselves to someone who they believe are better than them in a particular area) wrongly, thinking that females models are more similar to them and thus compare for self-evaluation rather than self-improvement. Negative self-evaluations that arise from unrealistic social comparison have been widely studied; Dittmar & Howard (2004)20 suggested a correlation between body-focused anxiety and thin ideal internalization as a result of social comparison with female models in ads. Furthermore, although the Social Comparison theory suggested that individuals would not continue to make comparisons if comparisons are damaging their self-image, a study demonstrated that women still frequently make social comparison with media images despite negative consequences that follow (Strahan et al., 2006)21. Furthermore, one study demonstrated that even if women do not compare themselves unrealistically to female model, the peer groups that are a realistic comparison group also promote media’s idealized beauty conventions (Krayer, Ingledew, Iphofen, 2007)22. Even though most peer group members do not have those unattainable bodily features that female models do, beauty standards in magazines are often discussed and valued among peer groups and seen as the desirable trait that will attract men. Hence, social comparisons with both female models in media and peer groups may lead to negative self-evaluation, since they sanction comparison to idealized beauty standards. Magazine content encourages women to be concerned about what others think of their appearances. Consequently, the Objectification Theory explains how women internalize media’s sexualized messages and reproduce their own schemas in objectified perspective. This creates women’s expectations of achieving beauty standards in media and a tendency to evaluate how much they meet those standards from a third person point of view (Frederickson & Roberts, 1997)23. Sexualized messages in media “function to socialize women to treat themselves as objects to be evaluated on the basis of appearance” (Fredrickson et al., 1998: p.270)24.

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This may lead to lack of opportunity for women to evaluate themselves in other ways such as their health, desires, achievement, or competence rather than on their sexual desirability. Most importantly, women are pressured to hold unhealthy conceptions of their femininity and sexuality. As media encourages women to meet ‘salient cultural standards’ of ‘sexy’ in order to gain attention from men, women learn to think of themselves as a ‘good object’ when she is sexually desirable. This process is called Self-Objectification, the process by which women learn to think of and treat their own bodies as objects of desires by others. Zurbriggen & Morgan (2006)16 found that women who more frequently consume mainstream media showed more tendency of Self-Objectification and consequently stronger endorsement of sexual stereotypes such as paintings of women as sexual objects. This can lead to serious consequences; “other people’s evaluations of their physical appearance can determine how…women are treated in day-to-day interactions, which in turn can shape their social and economic life outcomes” (Fredrickson et al., 1998; p. 270)24. Thus the next section will explore the impact of internalization of gender stereotype in media on women’s lives. III. Consequences on Women’s lives Emotional and Cognitive Consequences Women can experience serious emotional and cognitive consequences by being exposed to gender stereotype messages that are pervasively reinforced in magazine ads. Fredrickson et al., (1998)24 tested the effect of Self-Objectification on women’s body shame and math performance. These two topics are highly charged with gender stereotypes; sexualized media encourage women to have ‘sexy’ bodies and to spend energy on attracting men with their bodies rather than on quantitative domains. The Objectification theory predicts that Self-Objectification leads women to experience negative emotions associating with increased body shame. In the study, female undergraduates tried on and evaluated either a swimsuit or a sweater in a dressing room with full-length mirror and then

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completed a measure of body shameg. The idea is that the swimsuit group will be primed to selfobjectify based on idealized body images in prevailing media culture. Participants in the swimsuit condition reported higher body shame compared to the sweater condition (figure 1). Furthermore, the researchers identified heavier womenh as having the ‘higher trait self-objectification’. Among the swimsuit group, heavier women reported higher shame than lighter women, as heavier women tend to evaluate their body image as more deviant from idealized thin body standards and thus experience more body shame.

Note that the researchers made a distinction between body shame and body dissatisfaction (which will be discussed in the Health Risks section), since the Objectification Theory predicts that women experience negative consequences of Self-Objectification primarily because of being concerned with physical appearance without regarding whether they feel satisfied with their bodies. Body shame thus suggests detrimental emotional consequences as a result of rejection of expressing women’s own judgment. In addition to negative emotional consequences, women also experience cognitive consequences from self-objectification. The second part of the study explored how self!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
Body shame scale was based on the Body Esteem Scale from Franzoi & Shields (1984)25 but departed from the Body Esteem Scale that it does not examine women’s satisfaction with their bodies but assess concern with appearance without a judgmental or evaluative component) h Women in High and Low trait self-objectification group (heavy and light women respectively) were classified using the Body Mass Index (weight/height2) from Must, Dallal, & Dietz (1991)26
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objectification affects math performance (for the purpose of this paper, only the female participants will be discussed). The procedure was similar to that of the first part, except that while participants were told to wait to adjust into new swimsuit or sweater, they completed a math testi. Participants primed with self-objectification (swimsuit group) performed worse on the test compared to the nonprimed condition (figure 2). The experimenter concluded that chronic attention to physical appearance leaves fewer cognitive resources for other mental and physical activities, resulting in impaired performance on quantitative domain.

Additionally, gender stereotyping in media may cause women to experience stereotype threat, or apprehension that they will confirm those gender stereotypes (such as the stereotype against women in quantitative domains). The apprehension causes anxiety and impairs women’s cognitive performances. Davies et al., (2002)27 demonstrated that activated stereotype through exposure to stereotypic advertisement commercial caused women to underperform on a subsequent math test. In the study, female undergraduates who strongly identify with math domains were either shown a commercial that reinforced female stereotypes or countered them. The stereotypic commercial showed a woman excited about looking more attractive with an acne product that she bounced on her bed, while the counter stereotypic commercial showed an attractive woman impressing a man with knowledge of automotive engineering. Women exposed to stereotypic commercial were primed with !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
The math test used was a challenging test composed of 20 multiple-choice word problems drawn from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Participants were allowed 15 minutes to complete the test.
i

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Gender Stereotyping of Women in Contemporary Magazine Advertisements

gender stereotypical conventions in media and consequently underperformed on the math testj compared to those in counter-stereotypic condition. This has important implications to cognitive consequences and disadvantages women experience from being surrounded by gender stereotyping in media. Furthermore, the emotional disturbance women experience with the contradicting roles of modern women should also be considered. While women are constantly pressured to achieve the unattainable stereotypic expectations such as having the perfect sexy body, they are also becoming increasingly expected to succeed in their profession (White & Wyn, 2004)28. This further reinforces the danger of today’s subtle gender stereotypes portrayal compared to earlier explicit traditional female role expectations; while seemingly accepting women as independent, contemporary media is also promoting sexualized conceptions in women. Health Risks Unrealistic depictions of female model’s bodies in magazines set unrealistic cultural standards of beauty that women are expected to attain. For the past 20 years, there has been much research attention on the increase in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating in American women due to beauty ideals in media. For example, Hawkins et al. (2004)29 tested the effects of stereotypical depictions of women with idealized thin body on women’s mental health. Female participants were exposed to ads from Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Glamour magazines containing either female model or no model. The study concluded that participants who viewed female models, which reinforced beauty ideals, indicated more negative mood states and lower self-esteem. As ads featuring female models surrounds women wherever media exists, women are constantly being reminded of their ‘mediocre’ bodies that, media again suggests, cannot attract men. The negative consequences on women’s mental health that can arise from this cannot be undermined. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
j

The math test consisted of 12 questions taken from the Advanced Subject Graduate Record Examination (GREs).

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Furthermore, several studies have reported association between the level of exposure to thin female model and eating disorder symptoms (eg. Abramson & Valene, 199130; Thomsen, Weber, & Brown, 2002)11. One study analyzed eating pattern of adolescent girls in Rochester, Minnesota and changes in fashion during a 50-year period from 1935-1984 (Lucas et al., 1991)31. The researchers found that rates of anorexia nervosa, a type of eating disorder with symptoms of obsessive fear of gaining weight, among those girls correlate with changes in body size of models in the fashion of a particular time period. The period with thin female models marks the time when rates of anorexia nervosa were highest. This effect infers that the girls were socially comparing themselves to popular female model images that they are exposed to during that time, as the Social Comparison Theory suggested. In fact, a meta-analysis of 156 studies on body dissatisfaction showed that social comparison is a predictor of eating disorder (Myers and Crowther, 2009)32. Thus, the unrealistic beauty standard in magazines is partly responsible for unhealthy eating patterns that arise from women’s distorted evaluation of their self body image. Disadvantages in Competency and Relationship Despite much improvement in today’s education system for women, some women may still lose educational opportunities and vocational competencies because of gender stereotyping in media culture. Women are exposed to magazine ads that encourage them to stand out by their looks, rather than on their intelligence on math and science domains (Kilbourne, 1999)33. Davies et al. (2002)27 (the study on stereotype threat discussed above) found that women who viewed gender stereotypical ads not only performed worse in subsequent math test, but also avoided math items in favor of verbal items in an aptitude test (figure 3) (while the opposite affect occurred for women exposed to neutral ads). Although participants were those highly invested in math domain and not in verbal domain, in the study they were immune to stereotype threat in verbal domains. Thus, many women may have quantitative skills but exposure to gender stereotypes in media may discourage them to compete in quantitative domains. In fact, part 3 of the study have found that women who viewed gender

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stereotypical ads indicated “less interest in educational or vocational options [dealing with] quantitative domains”(Davies et al,, 2002; p. 1615)27 (figure 4).

In addition, there may also be consequences on women’s experiences of the social world, such as their romantic relationships. A study found that more frequent media consumption correlated with greater acceptance of sexual double standards (i.e. women indicated that men are less likely to be blamed for having more than one partner than women are) (Zurbriggen & Morgan, 2006)16. Moreover, magazines content that encourages women to place value on their physical appearances may lead to women’s fear of negative evaluations of their bodies. Self-objectification may occur as women become more focused on their partner’s judgments of their body image rather than on their own judgments. There has been various studies on how self-objectification limits women’s pleasure drawn from sexual experiences (Widerman, 2001)34 because women follow sexual activities that men desire while neglecting their own desires (Wingood & DiClemente, 1992)35. This may lead to unequal power relationship between women and their male partners.

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IV: Asian Experiences: Comparison of Conceptualization and Consequences in South Korean and American Women The media gender stereotyping literature has been strongly influenced by studies in United States and may not fully describe the experiences of women across all cultures. Thus, this section explores the influence of cultural elements on how gender stereotypes in Western ads convention affect Asian women, specifically emphasizing South Korean women. In addition to gender stereotypes pressuring women to achieve beauty standards, Asian women also have to live up to racial stereotypes depicted in a popular culture that is dominated by Caucasian beauty ideals. Adoption of Western Beauty Ideal Magazine ads, as the marketing theory holds, are a reflection of the social norms and cultural values of a given society (Belk & Pollay, 1985)36. However, due to contemporary globalization, increased trade and improved communication technologies are facilitating global integration between different cultures. Magazine ads thus become one socializing agent that perpetuates beauty standards globally, as seen in conventional models’ posing styles and physical features in cross cultural magazine ads (Shaw, 1999)37. Western cultures set the beauty standards of white skin, thin nose, double-eye lid and long legs in magazine ads. With the social, economic, and political power relations between United States and the rest of the world, Western transnational companies represent the world’s mass media; the Korean magazine market is dominated by 15 Western-owned companies (International Herald Tribune, 2004)38. Cho et al. (1999)39 suggested increasing departure from traditional Korean culture toward Western consumer cultures as a result of Western values depicted in media.

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These Western magazine conventions are prevalent and endorsed in Korea. Caucasian models are used in Korean magazine ads as symbols of economic success. This is partly because the OEDCk organization lifted restrictions against use of foreign models in Korean ads in recognition of Korea joining the organization in 1994. Moreover, in order to comply with the convention and gain “positive association that foreign luxury transnational brands bring”, local Korean magazines also imitate Western advertising standards and deliberately use Caucasian models (Oh, 2006; p. 27)40. Korean models most frequently have Western features and also adopt poses that conform to gender role portrayal in Western ads (Griffin et al., 1994)41. Furthermore, although the white population is essentially non-existent in Korea, Kim and Lennon (2006)42 found that more Caucasian than Korean models (52.3% vs. 47.7%) were featured in Korean ads in 2001. On the other hand, only 1.9% of US ads of the same year featured Asian models (Hovland et al, 2005)2. This emphasizes the unequal power relationships between America and Korea and the prevalence of Western beauty standards in Korea. According to Kim and Lennon (2006)42 the “common appearance of White female models in Korean women’s magazine provides strong evidence that the Western cultural ideal of beauty extends beyond cultural boundaries and influences people in non-Western cultures” (p. 360). The features of female models in magazine define beauty standards of a culture. Therefore, Western beauty, ubiquitous in Korean magazines, defines type of beauty endorsed by Korean women. Hence, compared to Western women, Korean women are exposed to similar gender stereotype messages in ads that emphasize the importance of achieving beauty standards. A content analysis of ads in a popular Korean magazine (Ju-Bu-Saeng Hwal) between 1965 and 1989 showed increasing portrayal of modern Western gender role convention in Korean ads, such as an increase in the number of women depicted as independent and an increase in the use of sexually appealing

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Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international organization helping governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a globalised economy.
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female model (Chung, 1990)6. However, this portrayal of women according to Western standards may not be an accurate reflection of Korean culture. Neo-Confucianism Contradictions Contemporary globalization introduces science and modern civilization of the West to Korean society. The status of Korean women has gone through a dramatic change during the 1900s. Expansion of educational opportunities for Korean women have led to less confinement in traditional female roles, as seen in a significant increase in number of women in various professional and managerial roles (Hovland et al., 2005)2. Korean women are increasingly depicted as independent, similar to the trend of women in the Western world. However, despite the more Western oriented society, to say that adoption of Western values means that Korean women experience the world as Western women do is to overlook the complexity of Korean culture, history, and identity. Although Korea is transforming from a traditional to modern economic society, Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist values (or Neo-Confucianism) are rooted in Korean culture. The portrayal of independent and sexualized women in magazines contradicts with the Neo-Confucian philosophies. According to Hofstede (1997)43, while to be feminine in United States is to be attractive and nurturing, femininity in Neo-Confucian cultures is also associated with virtue and modesty. NeoConfucianism stresses rigid hierarchical order to human relations. Women, being considered lower in the hierarchy, learn Confucian virtues of subordination and endurance, in order to prepare for their roles as wives and mothers (Won, 1994)44. Thus, Korean women are expected to be passive, quiet, and not sexually active before marriage. This disparity between traditional family roles and the social opportunities of modern society causes conflicting roles for Korean women. They are expected to fulfill not only their traditional responsibilities as subordinate wives, mothers, and daughters-in-law, but as independent and expressive women in the social world (Choi, 1994)45. Korean women are active and willing

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consumers of the cultural and sexual norms dictated by Western culture, but they would be considered too reserved to be portrayed explicitly in sexualized ways. Consequently, Korean women are sexualized in subtle ways. For example, Korean models often pose in such a way that their breasts can be gazed at in lingerie ads, but never showing their whole body wearing the lingerie. Compared to Korean models, Western models are more frequently selected to pose in sexual ways and wear revealing clothes in Korean ads, although the ads are intended for Korean consumers (Nam, Lee, & Sun, 2007)46. Moreover, another study reported that of the 1130 Korean ads examined, the Sensual/Sexy typel appeared more often with Western models (27.1% Western versus 10.8% Asian), whereas the Cute/Girl-Next Doorm type more often featured Asian models (25% Asian versus 15.7% Western) (Frith, Geng & Shaw, 2004)47. Thus, Sexy is also made into ‘Cute’ with young and innocent images of Korean models while they pose erotically. This double bind conflict between sexualized messages in media and Neo-Confucian values adds additional burden to Korean women, who are already pressured to achieve Western beauty standards. The incongruity between reality and expectations of Korean women pressures them to be sexy, yet not sexual. This extra burden can bring about more complicated consequences in Korean women’s internalization of Western gender stereotyping messages in magazine ads. Consequences of Internalized Western Gender Stereotypical Messages on Korean Women Since Korean women readily adopt stereotypical feminine expectations and “internalize a body image produced by the dominant [Western] culture’s racial ideology” (Kaw, 1993; p. 75)48, consequences of such internalization on Western women previously discussed should apply to Korean women as well. However, due to insufficient research studies on this topic, assumption that Korean women are being affected the same way as Western women cannot be made. However, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
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Models posing in sexual way and wearing revealing sexy attire Models having youthful appearance and wearing casual attire)

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because of globalized media, the exposure to gender stereotyping messages between Asian-American and Korean women should be comparable to some degree. Thus, the best alternative is to consider the effects of internalized gender stereotypes on Asian-American. For example, a replication of the swimsuit experiment, Fredrickson et al., (1998)24, found that self-objectification occurred and led to impaired cognitive performance in Asian-American women as well (Hebl, 2004)49. Consequences of Internalized Racial Stereotype in Addition to Gender Stereotype “Western cultural ideal for women is ubiquitous and widely accepted among Korean women. Korean magazines portray and promote Western feminine beauty as ideal and subsequently pressure Korean women to achieve Western ideal” (Kim & Lennon, 2006; p. 359)42 For Korean women, internalization of Western sexualized messages in Korean magazines is a “double jeopardy” (Hall , 2005)50. Asian women have to conform to the ‘patriarchal definitions of femininity’ as well as to ‘Caucasian standards of beauty’ (Kaw, 1993)48. This is because achieving Western beauty ideals promises not only positive rewards of being feminine, but also social status improvement for Korean women who live in a society where the Western world is highly regarded. Achievement of Caucasian features is associated with a better chance of “getting a date, securing a mate, or getting a better job…for racial minorities” (Kaw, 1993; p. 78)48. However, the white beauty standards that Korean women are pressured to attain may be physically impossible for Asian bodies. Consequently, a vast majority of Korean women consider plastic surgery as their way to achieve Western beauty ideals. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development in 2002 reported that 71.6% of Korean women wanted to or have undergone plastic surgery, and that the number is constantly increasing. Park (1996)51 indicated that epicanthoplasty, or double eye-lid surgery that produces a more Caucasian-like open eyes on Asian eyes, is the most frequently performed cosmetic surgical procedure in Asia. However, the national statistics of type of surgery that Korean women undergo are not available. A reasonable alternative is

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the result from Kaw (1993)48, which reported eyelid surgery being the most common procedure among Asian-American patients in two doctors’ office (M=43%) followed by nasal implants and nasal tip refinement (M=19%). The study suggested that Asian women primarily seek to alter through cosmetic surgery their ‘dull’ looking eyes and flat noses, which are markers of their racial identity. Kaw concluded that Asian women who undergo plastic surgery are “influenced by a gender ideology that states that beauty should be a primary goal of women. They are conscious that because they are women, they must conform to certain standards of beauty…but the standard of beauty they try to achieve through surgery is motivated by a Caucasian racial ideology” (Kaw, 1993; p.78-79)48. Therefore, Korean women who internalize gender stereotyping messages experience the health risks involved in not only disordered eating to achieve the beauty ideal, but also in undergoing plastic surgeries to achieve the Caucasian beauty ideal. Moreover, detrimental emotional consequences may also arise as popular culture constantly reinforce Korean women to mutilate rather than celebrate their natural Asian features (Hall, 1995)50. Korean women’s looks, compared to those of Caucasian women, are further away from the beauty ideal perpetuated in mass media, and thus they may be more susceptible to the effects of low self-esteem and poor body image. Additionally, elements of Korean collectivistic culture may further dramatize the internalization effects. Korean culture has an interdependent self construal, or understanding of self as a constituent of the social context, as opposed to the independent self construal in Western cultures (Markus & Kitayama, 1991)52. This may lead to higher tendency of self-objectification in Korean women, since they are already prone to the concept of seeing others’ opinions of them as an important part of their identity. Collectivism in Korea also promotes conformity; almost all Korean models are described as having very specific, uniformed beauty ideals of ‘big eyes with double eyelids, high nose, small and egg-shaped face, fair skin, long legs, and slender body’ (Jee & Oh, 2006; p.6)53 as opposed to more varieties in Western cultures. Hence, Korean women who value conformity may be more pressured to achieve that one and only Western beauty standard in order to fit in and do well in society.

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CONCLUSION: Interventions & Future Research Women across cultures are victims of the portrayal of stereotypical gender roles perpetuated through mass media culture. Various empirical evidence suggests that women are sexualized in contemporary magazine ads, that women are prone to internalizing the beauty standards depicted in ads, and that such internalization can lead to emotional and cognitive consequences, health risks, and disadvantages in women’s relational and career lives. This paper also explored further consequences of the internalization of Western beauty ideal as a function of racial stereotypes in addition to gender stereotypes among Korean women. The consequences may also extend beyond individual to societal levels, such as increase in rate of sexual violence, or even to national levels, such as the widening gap between socio-economic classes of women due to the financial investment needed to attain beauty ideals. Therefore, interventions at all levels are essential to counteract this trend. Educational interventions such as implementation of media literacy training programs could be a solution to encourage women to challenge the realism of media’s stereotypical gender portrayal. The goal of media literacy is to create active interpreters of messages rather than passive viewers as Gerbner’s Cultivation theory suggested. James Potter, an advocate of the cognitive theory of media literacy, addressed the importance of media literacy in developing critical viewpoints in cognitive development; media literacy “helps individuals alter their behavior in a way to empower them to use the media rather than default to the media using them”(Potter, 2004; p. 271)54. Media literacy has been widely credited for reducing risk of alcohol use (Austin and Joshnson, 1997)55 and decreasing acceptance of violence (Voojis and ven der Voort, 1993)56. Thus, researchers have recently begun to explore how critical thinking about gender stereotyping in media through media literacy may help protect women from endorsing sexualized and thin beauty ideals. Various studies suggest that media literacy interventions effectively promote media skepticism among women One study found that college women who were shown a 45-minute

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Gender Stereotyping of Women in Contemporary Magazine Advertisements

segment of film ‘Slim Hopes’ by Jean Kilbourne (1995)33, which addresses the tactics used by advertisers to manipulate images of models, showed increased awareness of the unrealistic depiction of socio-cultural beauty standards, compared to the control group (Irving & Berel, 2001)57. Furthermore, advocacy for media literacy for women have been implemented. For example, ‘The Girls, Women+ Media Project’ (www.mediaandwomen.org) provides media literacy resources and education to challenge media’s stereotypical portrayal of women. However, most of the studies conducted measure only immediate attitude change, but do not follow-up on long term effects or measure of actual behavioral change that arise through exposure of media literacy. Some studies have attempted to explore these issues, but effectiveness of results varies. Wade, Davidson & O’Dead (2003)58 found that the media literacy (‘GO GIRLS! Program) led to reduction in weight control concerns immediately following the intervention, but the effects were not sustained when participants were tested on a 3-month follow-up. Furthermore, a study compared the effectiveness of media-literacy programs, and found that although exposure to media literacy increase ‘awareness’, it does not decrease ‘internalization’ of stereotypical beauty ideals (no significant change on negative attitudes towards women’s own body images) (Irving & Berel, 2001)57. This suggests that a brief media literacy exposure may be insufficient to counteract the prevailing cultural pressure on stereotypical ideals in mass media culture. Media literacy for women, although a promising approach, still requires further investigations. One of the few studies that address the interaction between individual differences and media literacy effect is Coughlin & Kalodner (2006)59. The study demonstrates that level of risk for eating disorder interacts with the effects of media literacy, such that only women with high-risk for disordered eatingn reported significant decrease in internalization of beauty ideals after exposure to media literary. Further research on similar approaches would be beneficial to our understanding of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Mintz et al., 1997)62 was used to assess cognition and behaviors associated with eating disorder, to classify participants into high or low risks conditions.
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interactions between women’s personality, biological, and socio-cultural factors and types of media literacy used, in order to increase the efficiency of media literary training programs. In addition, promotion of extra-curricular activities may be a useful supplement to media literacy training in educational programs. For example, the relationship between sports participation and increase in self-esteem has been widely studied. Promotion of sports participation has been implemented on people with physical disabilities to increase their levels of body self-esteem (Gruber, 1986)60. Lehman & Koehler (2004)61 explained that the effect is regulated by an increase in functional body orientation, or the extent to which an individual thinks of his/her body as something he/she is capable of controlling. This suggests that participation in sports may not only lead to increase in self-esteem, but also reduce the risk of self-objectification in women. With the mentality that they are capable of controlling their own bodies, women may be less prone to viewing their bodies as objects subjective to evaluation of others, and thereby reducing health risks and other consequences involved in the internalization of beauty ideals in media. Therefore, future research is needed to investigate the relationship between sports participation and self-objectification in women. To resist the prevailing media culture, educational intervention alone may not be sufficient. Family members should play active roles in mediating and advising girls during media consumption to prevent internalization of sexualized media culture. At the communal level, activists should also encourage discussions of unrealistic gender role portrayal in media and recommend alternative media sources. Furthermore, media policies and regulation should be made at institutional, national, and global levels to counteract gender stereotyping in media that is bringing serious consequences to women, society, and the world.

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Gender Stereotyping of Women in Contemporary Magazine Advertisements

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