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Weight Loss Advertisements In Magazines | 100 Years of Media Patriarchy on How Women Should Eat and Look

Weight Loss Advertisements In Magazines | 100 Years of Media Patriarchy on How Women Should Eat and Look

Weight Loss

Have you ever noticed that nearly every women had a weight loss experience in some phase through her life? Did you search for answers or discuss the reason at some level? It is actually a very important question and to answer we have to go through many terms and studies explaining advertising techniques, gender, feminism, and mansplaining.There is never a standard for losing weight, there are tons of diets and routines out there based on false and manipulating advertising mainly. If you looked to studies and practical evidence you will be shocked by the truth and how women lifestyles are based on not thing but self-harm commercials have ruined many of females’ lives over decades.

Let’s Dig Into The Pop Culture of Slimming Foods

Advertising isn’t a modern or new tool for marketing, the commercial world have been using it for centuries and it took a long way developing different techniques and methods, promotion is the main definition for marketing and in order to promote a product you need to understand your targeted audience or take the most use of their hidden features that they don’t even know about.

Diet and food advertisement companies knew how to play with women’s minds very well, they started with a basic functional term called patriarchy. That term has dominated the religious societies around the world for centuries, women got affected by this term very widely from the way they should behave, talk, look, and eat. The media understood the phenomena very well and started their poisonous war to put a desirable image of beauty with what they sell.

Most of the food and diet advertisements target children and teenagers, that is because young people have more tendencies for buying and trying lots of products, it is also a smart way from which companies can earn a wide base of future costumes.

A study on American girls in adolescent age 9-17 years old showed that weight loss and diet food advertisements from magazines, tv commercials, ads, and food replacement products affect emotionally on the target audience by using identification with characters to create an emotional resonance between the consumer and the product. This forces the customer to take any rapid call of action to meet her needs and get the social acceptance that ads selling.

Food and diet industry estimated at 70.3 billion after years of depression due to supplement industry which valued 132.8 billion in 2016 and expected to reach 220.3 billion by 2022 and the truth is they have gained all that with deceiving and manipulation, a content analysis for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) showed that more than half of weight-loss products from Tv, magazines, radio, newspapers, and direct mail solicitation made use of false and unsubstantiated claims. That is why education and awareness play significant roles in how women can fight that deceiving publicity.

Gender Advertising and weight loss

Media and advertising companies took the use of the portrayal of females stereotypes which have been created by society for years, they combined the female stereotypical with patriarchy to manipulate the emotional, physical, and mental behavior of women and to maintain a typical image of beauty by marketing for weight loss products.

Women have always been a leading part in advertising whether to convince a man or woman for buying a certain product, they have always been connected with food advertising and the way media portrayed women in the diet industry changed and evolved over the past 100 years. In 1889, Aunt Jemima was the first influential food product portraying a woman. Aunt Jemima gained fame all over the world, it is a sort of pancake mix, syrup, and other breakfast foods featuring an African-American woman.

Although it was some kind of racial advertisement in an era African-American women were facing racism and only occupying services and maids’ jobs, it had much impact on the African-American consumer market. The next wave of using women in food advertising was related to gender and stereotypical patriarchy behavior at a high level, advertisements featured women as mothers and wives searching for the best food to please their families while they put others before themselves.



Women roles in advertising still gaining much importance and interest, the media had been shaping women’s behavior for decades if we took a moment and asked women to think about why do they buy such a product? why are they applying makeup? why are they seeking for better career and better income? in most cases we will see that women want that to have a better shape, better partner and better approbation in society, advertisements made everything connected to sexual appeal and lust from foods to makeup, clothes, and most important beauty.

When you take a look at beauty stereotypes over the last 100 years and until now, you see that media has shaped a certain image for beauty making you desire in certain shapes or products. That manipulation only selling women, self-consciousness, the lake of self-esteem, eating disorders, and affect widely on mental health. If we took Tom Ford fragrance ad, for instance, you see that it has a certain beauty picture in which woman with thin body doesn’t have a single pound of fat where man appears in masculine body, the ad sells nothing but lust and sexual appeal and if you took an intensive look you can see that the focus on the women who spill huge amount of fragrance on her partner.


Weight Loss


The advertising and marketing for beauty and the way should women look had been going for over a century, by looking at the advertisements archive you can tell that companies and retails were marketing for weight loss with nearly any idea comes in mind like obesity soap from 19th century, bath powder from 1900 recommended by opera singer or cigarettes from 1950s. Things developed in the 1930s with a bizarre machine that gives you the perfect shape while in 1950s it was a magic couch.



weight loss


In the 70s media took another leap for food advertising using women and making use of the food industry growth and the birth of supplement products to produce another nonsense about weight loss and the perfect shape with cookies, ice cream or even eating nothing but peanut butter and full-fat milk to get the ideal shape.



weight loss


For supplements, powders were the new thing for another fat-burning way. An ad from the 1970s took a huge lope against women’s and human’s rights by mocking and focusing on girls’ weight who weren’t even fat.


weight loss

The relation between patriarchy of public figure, Hollywood, and weight

Patriarchy is the senior man authority over everyone else in the family, including younger men, and women are subject to distinct forms of control and subordination.

Valentine Moghadam (2004, p. 141)

Patriarchy had been practicing by only men over women and younger members of society through history, but the behavior of that term has been evolved for centuries to include all society members, the significant thing about is that women have been practicing it for decades over other women, not for thing but gaining women sexual appeal through men’s community and meeting males sexual preferences and needs.

Female public figures who had much presence in the society were the first to apply women’s patriarchy over their own kind, for example, queens or higher stated women in the royal court were teaching young female how to behave in front of men they even raised them to meet kings and higher status males in society sexual needs. This was noticed at a high level in the Ottoman Empire as they had something called Haramlek where women were living and practicing their daily life, no males but kings and their sons were permitted to enter it.

This was also noticed through the ancient royal times through England and Europe, The Handmaid Tales series and book is a good example for portraying how far women can be used as sexual objects through society. Women’s magazines and social media public figures took the most use of that term, the magazines gained popularity and acceptance in the 1990s when they were the guide to every modern woman and girl. Females used magazines as instructors in their real lives from how to eat and wear to how to behave and deal with other people in society especially males.

Women’s magazines took women’s interest to another level by using public figures in the society like actresses, singers, chefs, and nearly any famous female to promote beauty standers and the ideal way for being a woman. They featured these women as goddesses for beauty and the perfect versions of females, they marketed for ideas and routines that affect women’s health from both physical and mental aspects like following some kind of alkaline diet “Victoria Beckham,” liquid diet “Opera Winfrey ” or even apple cider diet “Megan Fox.”

One of the most famous public figures today is Kim Kardashian or it is better to say The Kardashian Girls, these women have created a new sick wave of women patriarchy by using social media platforms to advertise for products or ideas about beauty and weight loss.

The Kardashians are double agents for the patriarchy.

Jameela Jamil

They selling women and young girls food disorders, self-hate, and a desire for being a shallow person only care about the way they look and comments they can get from people they don’t even know about how much they weigh.

It must be nice to basically get paid to exercise and pamper yourself every day. You look amazing. Wish I could quit my office job and take care of myself more.

Instagram Follower

Hollywood has no exception from participating in spreading weight lose sickness and virus, it has been making movies about losing weight and sexual appeal for decades targeting women of all ages and backgrounds. Bridget Jones’s diary is a good example of that, they made a series of three movies about English women suffering from self-consciousness, lack of self-esteem, self-hatred, seeking for males liking and she wasn’t even fat.

It is sad though as the movie gained huge success and earned millions of dollars from women’s buckets who believe in beauty myth and the way they should look, it is weird because if they only took a moment about thinking why they care that much about their weight, they will see that because they want men’s approbation taking us to an important term ‘Mansplaining’ which mean the way men control women’s lives and behaviors by telling them what to eat, how to think, and what to wear, this has been a discussed topic in many feminist books.

There is nothing wrong with being fit, losing weight or enjoying your body, but all of that must be related to your own standers and needs without affecting your mental or physical health that many women face from media and publicity

But, the good thing is that there are many women out there doesn’t buy this nonsense anymore they only care about loving and accepting themselves, no matter the world tells them about how they should look or behave they know their soul and they accept the way they look, an example for that is #iweigh campaign started by an actress, model and tv presenter called Jamela Jamel where anyone welcomed to share self-love and acceptance.


Tell Us Your Opinion About Women’s Patriarchy and Beauty Myth in The Comments, or Send Your Story to submission@girlsinsights.com So You Can Inspire More Women on How to Accept and Love Themselves.

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  • You are absolutely right! You never thought about how many movies you have about girls that improving their look and how popular they are. I can’t think from the top of my head of any movie about self- acceptance

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