Stereotypes and Sexualization of Girls and Adolescent Girls in Chilean Advertising: A Case Study

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51698/tripodos.2021.50p187-204

Keywords:

advertising, stereotypes, fashion industry, sexualization, girls-adolescents

Abstract

This article presents a case study about three underwear and footwear advertising campaigns aimed at girls and adolescents in the context of the promotion of the back-to-school season in Chile in February 2020. The adverts caused social and media controversy. Social media users accused the brands of sexualizing children and adolescents’ images for marketing and commercial ends. Based on an interpretative analysis of the graphic pieces involved in the campaigns, this article reflects on the representation of girls and adolescent girls. This research observes a resort to female gender stereotypes char- acteristic of the fashion industry extended to childhood. Considering that advertising is one of the main discursive axes central in the social and media construction of infancy, we discuss the risk of normalizing communication strategies which appeal to the increasingly earlier seduction and erotization of infant and adolescent bodies through mass media despite prevailing ethical and self-regulation codes in the country.

Author Biographies

Rayén Condeza-Dall'Orso, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile)

Rayén Condeza Dall’Orso (rcondeza@uc.cl) holds a PhD from the University of Montreal, a Master of Science in Education, and a degree in journalism from UC Chile. She is Associate Professor in communication at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile [Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC)], where she directed the master’s degree in Communication and Education. Her research focuses on children, youth, and the media; the appropriation of the media and ICT for education and applied communication for social change. Among recent research funded by the National Agency of Research and Development (ANID, Chile) she is PI of The Media Construction of Childhood: an approach from news, advertising and institutional discourses (FONDECYT Iniciación 11191046-2019/2022). She is Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal of communications Cuadernos.info and researcher at COES, Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies.

Pablo Matus, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile)

Pablo Matus (pmatus@uc.cl) is professor at the School of Communications, at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile [Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC)], where he teaches semiotics, discourse analysis, storytelling, and communication theory. He holds a PhD in Communication Sciences, a Master’s in Strategic Communications, and a BA in Journalism, besides diplomas in Higher Education, Organizational Development, and Public Opinion. His lines of research are media discourse (advertising and journalism), strategic communication and communication theory. In these fields, he has published articles on the dystopian nature of environmental campaigns, the enunciative strategies of university advertising, the representation of citizen interests in electoral propaganda, and CSR communication practices in Latin America.

Enrique Vergara-Leighton, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile)

Enrique Vergara-Leyton (evergaral@uc.cl) holds a PhD in Communication from The Autonomous University of Barcelona. Associate Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile [Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC)]. He did an internship as a visiting professor at the Ramon Llul University (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation scholarship) and a postdoctoral research stay at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. Among his research, he has participated in numerous projects funded by the National Agency of Research and Development ANID (Chile) on consumption, advertising, and Chilean iconographic heritage. He is a member of the Arts and Architecture Study Group (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development, ANID); member of the Area Committee of Social, Political and Communication Sciences (National Accreditation Commission CNA-Chile) and reviewer in different scientific journals in Europe and Latin America.

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2021-07-01 — Updated on 2021-07-04

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