Cause or Consequence?

My school has started a feminist's society, and it's easily become the highlight of my week. Every Friday lunch, a student gives a talk on something relating to feminism. This has been on transgender people, whether men can be feminists and, what I'm going to discuss today, feminism in advertising, specifically food. Gender divides and food had never previously been something I'd thought about, but seeing the adverts side by side, you can see a huge contrast.


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Adverts aimed to attract women usually focus on things being 'light' or 'diet' or 'guilt-free'. We have a really odd relationship with food, categorizing things as 'good' or 'bad', as though it is that simple. Therefore when you eat something you're doing something wrong or right. So adverts aimed at women always seem to focus on food being 'diet' or 'light' in order to make you feel good about eating it. The other side of advertising is when women are sexualised in order to attract men. Objectifying women in the media isn't a foreign concept to us, but I'd never observed it in food before.


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Adverts aimed at men however, focus on having protein and being 'manly'. They sometimes even exclude women, which I don't really understand as you're eliminating half of your potential demographic. It could be because women are seen as somehow 'weaker' and can't handle a yorkie bar? A lot of adverts aimed at men also usually involve some sort of explosion and images of young strong men.

The question I want to ask is whether you think this is a cause or consequence? Do these adverts cause an even bigger gender divide in our society, or are they the result of an existing one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

-Lexi xo


  1. I think of lot of your male-centered ads/products are consequence where as women products can be both cause and consequence. Almost a never ending cycle between to the two. Adveritising industries both prey on pre-existing insecurities and tropes *and* create insecurities and tropes in order to sell Diet Coke and Special K and what have you. Meanwhile men's food is almost a consequence of the tropes of girls watching their weight, girls eating very little, girls being kept small and delicate and easily catchable so you can take them back to your cave and reproduce.

  2. My school just started a club called "Feminism Is For Everyone" and it's so lovely to see both guys and girls chiming in, coming to meetings, and showing support. We showed a clip of Emma Watson's UN Speech last week and at least 1/4 of our high school came, it was so cool!! This is great! :)

    xx Alyssa

    1. Ah that's awesome! Mine is similar, and yes it's fantastic seeing people of all genders attend and join in! xo

  3. Ah it's so cool your school does this! I go to a feminists society at college but my school never had one, which sucks - I think it's so important to get people informed and interested in this sort of thing from as young an age as possible. I see so many girls my age completely denouncing feminism because of all these angry stereotypes, so more exposure to real, non-radical, openly 'out' feminists a little earlier would've done wonders! Gender in advertising and the media is always so messy as as much as I hate to say it, people want to see the whole women-as-sex-objects kind of thing and it's what sells, which is so frustrating as it's such an unhealthy idea to promote! I think the pressures presented in the media towards men and their body image are also often overlooked, so it's interesting to look at that side of it too! xx

    1. I know, it's only for year 9 and up but I think it should be available to everyone! Yeah it's the best way to denounce these stereotypes from spreading. Totally, I think the whole 'sex sells' thing is so disappointing in our society, but sadly it's true. Thanks for the comment! x