Today’s Indigo Thread aims to promote a video series called “Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women,” that features the research of Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. Dr. Kilbourne, while not a woman of African descent and therefore outside of this blog article’s normal focus, has conducted groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and the negative impact on women and girls of all ethnic backgrounds. The video series is called “Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women,” and it marks the return of Dr. Kilbourne’s pioneering documentary called “Killing Us Softly, which originally was released in 1979.” Dr. Kilbourne calls out the tendency of advertisers to objectify and dehumanize women, and the detrimental effects that these ads have on women including gender inequality and eating disorders, as well as physical and psychological abuse.
Dr. Kilbourne’s research has impacted the work of several feminist theorists, many of whom have addressed the negative impact that advertising has had on black women more specifically. For example, Dr. Kilbourne’s research has inspired scholarly researching, including Dr. Meg Lovejoy’s article on “Differences in Body Image and Eating Problems among African American and white Women” (2001), Dr. Shirley A. Hill’s “Cultural Images and the Health of African American Women” (2001), and many, many other research projects.
Indigo Thread: Women of Vision and Purpose is a column on Orijin Blog and Magazine. The column focuses on Black women in the media and other areas of society, including social, cultural, economic and spiritual. The blog appears on Wednesdays, and the magazine version of the column appears in each edition of the publication. It is written by anthropologist and actress, Michelle Flowers, who is based in Los Angeles, CA.
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