1.en.05 Gender Stereotypes

Images used in the  media to portray men and women are essential to build up our perception of gender stereotypes. Some brands have adopted new strategies such as challenging  gender stereotypes brand  themselves have contributed to build up. Building up women’s confidence and self esteem is part of their aim.

Always is a brand of sanitary pads. Therefore,  it is not difficult to guess what their target group is. Some years ago, it launched a campaign that went viral. Have a look at the video.  Do you think it is effective? Did it make you reflect? If you had been asked to run like a girl what would have been your answer?

Task 1. Get into groups and discuss. Report to the group

  • Do you think it is effective challenging stereotypes?
  • Did it make you reflect?
  • If you had been asked to run like a girl what would have been your answer?

Task 2 Read  and react Now click on the image below and read a short article that appeared in the Time reviewing Always ad.  In order to help you, we have included the meaning of blue  highlighted words. In your notebook write a short review of the ad.

Find in the text words or expressions that mean the same as the following:

a) try to achieve          b) make, trademark          c) to give power or authority to         d) opinion you have of yourself

e) prove          f) though, still, nevertheless (expressing contrast)          g) try to achieve

h) objects used on stage or movie set          i) take apart          j) become very popular

k) important enough to justify spending some time          l) indicate

Task 3 

Now it is your turn to analyse other ads.

Check the Pantene and Dove’s  campaigns mentioned in the article and write a brief comment on how they manage to challenge gender sterotypes.

In pairs, try to answer the following questions:

How are gender stereotypes challenged in the commercials?

Can you point at any examples?

Do you know any other commercials in which gender stereotypes are challenged?

In your opinion, do commercials or Tv programmes usually support or challenge stereotypes about gender?

These are commercials aimed at girls: What ideas are challenged in them?

Task 4

Challenging the “women must look perfect” ideas.

After watching the commercials, it would seem that the world of women revolves around their appearance. However, is it not also true that men also give importance to their looks?

The Jubilee Project, an NGO fostering campaigns that try to challenge the way we see the world, posted a video about what importance different people give to their looks. The campaign is called Fifty People, One Question.

What question do you think people were asked?

What did they answer?

Now watch the video:

What was the question?

What answer did people give?

Were answers given by adults and children similar or different? How?

What does this tell us about how adults and children see their bodies?


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