Women’s Equality in Advertising

with 14 Comments

Last month, I was sick for almost two weeks.

Couch bound, too tired to extend the extreme effort (heavy sigh) of loading and unloading DVDs, I watched DVR shows and live TV.

Aren’t DVRs the best because we can zap through the multitude of annoying commercials?

But there I was, stuck with them blaring at me minute after irritating minute.

What has changed in advertising in my lifetime? Not much. Women are but a few steps away from the TV ads of the 1950s. We still dominate as the target market for house cleaning, parenting, and of course, make up, body lotion, anti-aging creams…things that are rarely pitched to men.

Add in a new trend and I’m looking to my female readers to provide input on how you feel about it.

Because I don’t get it. (But then, I don’t get big purses and frequently ask friends just what is it they’re carrying around in those massive satchels.)

I call foul on the following until you convince me they’re a great idea.

Let me be clear that I’m not speaking to the quality of these products. They may be the best, most well-made items in each of their categories. I’m addressing the manner in which they are sold—something I’ve only seen done in the world of men with razors.


I try to imagine in what universe I need to subscribe to Fabletics site and spend $49.95 (in order to get free shipping) on athletic attire every month. I’ve had the same workout clothes for nine years except to occasionally replace worn out bras. Am I fashionable? Not even a little bit. Are the Fabletics clothes gorgeous? Absolutely. Simple wondering how to justify spending $600 a year on athletic clothes when I workout at home and wear hiking pants on the trail–I’ve got to have pockets.


Well color me the odd chick for sure, but once upon a young time in my life, I had  a couple of sets of matching bras and panties. But I quickly realized that bras are generally worn more than once, whereas underwear—you get the idea. Therefore, they match for one wearing unless you buy multiple pairs of the same panties. This site offers a bra and panty set for $39.95 each month with the expenditure coming to $480 a year. Not saying this isn’t a deal, butI’ve never owned twelve bras at one time in my life—even counting the exercise ones.


I really want to scream at this one with the closets that look like shoe stores. I own ten pairs of shoes and boots. That’s it. When I worked in corporate, I had multiple dressy heels, so let’s say at the highpoint of my collection, I had twenty pairs. I worked with two women who admitted to having nearly 100 pairs of footwear. Yes, I looked at them as if they had (at least) two heads.

This membership site charges $39.95 monthly unless, like the others, you go in and skip that shipment. Do I, who admittedly spends at least $100 a year on a pair of new hiking shoes (current love Sawtooth by Oboz), admit that forty bucks for a pair of shoes is a deal? You betcha’. But who needs twelve new pair of shoes each year? Let me know. Another $480 a year.

If you belonged to just these clubs and used them each month, you’re spending $1,560 a year on exercise clothes, underwear and shoes. If you work in corporate, you’re taxed with wearing suits, dresses and the accessories—nylons, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, makeup, scarves, pins, hair color, hair styles, hair products to hold the style and color in place. Consider that women are still earning 79 cents on the dollar compared to men who can buy one suit that lasts years, one pair of black and one pair of brown shoes that cover all the dapper dresser bases and maybe you can get why I’m feeling a bit snarky.

In honor of International Women’s Day*, #BeBoldForChange and see how you might change your expenditures to best represent what you believe in rather than what the advertisers urge you to need.

*A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.


Speaking of great women, don’t forget to get your free download of Women Breaking Barriers!

14 Responses

  1. Erica
    | Reply

    The only one of those I’ve heard of is Fabletics which I had considered under the assumption that after I got a couple of shipments, I would cancel. I think companies like that bank on the fact that people will get busy and forget to cancel. Especially young people who might not be on top of their finances. Needless to say, I never went through with it.

    But don’t even get me started with women in advertising and media. Kind of off-subject, but do you know there are 10 roles for men for every 1 role for women in film? I was on the nominating committee for the SAG awards some years back. I was sent pretty much every movie that came out that year to watch. And then I was sent a ballot to nominate 5 people in each category. And the list for men was astonishingly longer than the one for women. I couldn’t even find 5 actresses that were worthy of a best actress nomination that year. We just tend to play the girlfriend, the mom or the bitch. Seldom a character of depth. The more we women support a diverse depiction of women in the media, the more things will change…at least in my opinion.
    Erica recently posted..Surprise! The Crazy Reason For Your Weight Loss Plateau!My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Sounds like you and I could easily share a soap box on this topic, Erica. I am continually dismayed by the imbalance in advertising, movie, TV. Because the media has such input into our daily lives, until these things change their approach, I don’t see society changing.

      I agree on them counting on people forgetting to cancel orders and getting stuck with shipments. I seem to recall getting hooked into one of those schemes–probably related to books–back in the day. I finally had to cancel the whole thing because of the hassles involved.

      Thanks for your input!

  2. Jen Monks
    | Reply

    I think most monthly subscription companies are targeting millennials. I am not a millennial. Therefore, I don’t get it. I need to try things on before I buy them. I like to touch and feel the product if it’s going to be on my body all day. And then there’s the price. I don’t need new workout clothes or undergarments or shoes every month. I just shrug my shoulders at those who do.

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I have some good millennial friends and will have to run this targeted marketing by them. Couldn’t agree with you more, Jen, about having to touch things before buying and the lack of needing new all the time. I would so much rather save those funds for a trip!

  3. Sushmita
    | Reply

    In honor of International Women’s Day*, #BeBoldForChange and see how you might change your expenditures to best represent what you believe in rather than what the advertisers urge you to need.

    This is so true…..I adore you RoseMary :-*
    Thank you for this sweet and amazing post!
    Sushmita recently posted..You see, best 5 Self-Help Accounting Tools for Start Ups!My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Thanks for reading, Sushmita. Nothing will change for women until we stop succumbing to this kind of nonsense marketing.

  4. Marquita Herald
    | Reply

    I’m glad you’re feeling better RoseMary! I’m afraid I don’t have much to contribute here because 1) I don’t watch television so 2) I’ve never heard of any of the brands you referenced, and 3) I don’t shop enough to warrant a monthly membership fee regardless of the products they feature. I don’t even have a membership to Costco (gasp!). And yet, manage to live a fulfilling life, go figure. 🙂 Take care, my friend.

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Marty, there’ve been many times I haven’t even owned a TV and after a short time, I never missed it. So I get not watching much of it. And you’re not attacked by sexist advertisers!
      Costco…gosh I love Costco. HA HA. Hate to shop, though. Always. Give me a walk in the woods instead!

  5. Phoenicia
    | Reply

    The pressures that women face, even more so in the corporate world. There is a need to conform not only for men but for women too. A little more is expected of men now but I doubt it will ever be level with women.

    I laughed at the mention of 100 pairs of shoes. I have probably owned no more than 30 at one time – this includes boots, sandals, pumps etc.

    Your new website is great!
    Phoenicia recently posted..No limits!My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I rather thought you would like this one, Phoenicia. We tend to think alike when it comes to these matters. And…I think conforming doesn’t suite either of us very well. 🙂

  6. Ken Dowell
    | Reply

    And if you watch “men’s” TV shows you get ads for erectile dysfunction, pick up trucks and super crappy snack food you can consume while watching football on TV.
    Ken Dowell recently posted..History of Radio: Big VoicesMy Profile

  7. Doreen Pendgracs
    | Reply

    Hi Rose. I love not when you get on a rant! You’re a natural. 🙂 I agree with you. It is wonderful having been sprung free from the corporate world. No more suits and high heels EVER. Once in awhile I put on a wedge or low heel, but that’s as high as I go. I also think we’re more practical with our accessories because we are frequent travelers. Can’t travel with 5 pairs of shoes!
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..Fairfield Inn Winnipeg Airport HotelMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      That’s right, Doreen! The less luggage, the better and shoes? Two pair at the most!
      Thanks for appreciating my rant.

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