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Questions for a Second Reading

             There are cultural pressures in every aspect of life. We are bombarded constantly by messages of what we should or should not be. The forces at work to create an atmosphere of peer pressure, if I may call it that, are not deep, dark, and hidden, as Susan Bordo makes it sound to me. The popular thought is that we are a product of our societies might be true, but even more accurately it can be stated that our society is a product of us. What is a society? It is the thoughts, whims and preferences of the peoples living in a given area. A society is not a free-floating entity in and of itself. There are noself-made? societies. A society is the mindset of the people. With that thought in mind, I cannot say that there is a secret motive behind advertising in America. Advertisers are out for one thing and one thing only, to sell their product. They are limited, or not limited in their approach to doing this, not by money concerns necessarily, but by the limits that their society has placed upon them. An example is a commercial I heard on the radio today. The commercial painted a picture of a man, handsome and strong, who enjoys skiing, football, cooking, wine and various other things and activities. The commercial then asked,is this man straight or gay?? That was apparently the point of a new game show. Why were they able to so nonchalantly make light of such a topic and thrust it so freely into the consumer marketplace with no uproar to speak of? It is quite simple; our society (that is, the people of our country) has come to the place where they have decided to allow that sort of thing to go uncensored, therefore the producer of the show believes that money can be made on his idea, so he advertises. Twenty or thirty years ago society in America would not have let it pass. My point is that I do not believe that there is more than a profit maximizing, Madison avenue mentality? at work in advertising.

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