Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version

September 2005


Make no mistake—it is popularity that makes pop culture important. And it is the powerful visual imagery of advertisements that helps define the largely artificial construction we call gender. Sex-role stereotyping and gender representations are typically studied in content analyses of television and magazine advertisements. Less common are investigations into outdoor advertising, a medium that is ubiquitous and the most democratic—everyone has equal access to visuals. This essay calls attention to and offers insights on advertisements in our outdoor visual space, focusing on gender representations. Capturing and analyzing these ephemeral images can show how they influence how we feel, think, look, and act like a man or a woman through commercialization.