Scholar Post- Women in the Media


According to Jean Kilbourne in her TED Talk The Dangerous Ways Ads See Women “Advertising has become much more widespread, powerful, and sophisticated than ever before”.

Advertisements are everywhere in our society today. There are even advertisements in the games people play on their phones and in video games. It is impossible to free yourself from the impeding stereotypes from these harmful ads. When women see these ads it is incredibly difficult to not feel bad about yourself for not looking a certain way.

In her TED Talk Kilbourne also said that “Brad Pitt and supermodel Linda Evangelista are both about the same age and each one are seen in an ad for Chanel, but he gets to look like a human being and she’s transformed into a cartoon”.

One limitation to this argument is that men are photo shopped in the media as well. However, when men are photo shopped it is to make them appear bigger. When women are photo shopped they are completely transformed. They are made to be smaller and flawless in every way; whether that be their skin does not have pores or they are so skinny that their head appears to be bigger than their hips. While it is dangerous for the media to photo shop both men and women it is done more often to women. These ridiculous expectations in the media are also presented more often to women than they are to men.

Kilbourne makes another point in her TED Talk that “Our girls are getting the message today so young that they have to be incredibly thin and beautiful and hot and sexy and that they are going to fail”

It is incredibly harmful when young girls are exposed to these stereotypes that are perpetuated by the media because it is telling them at a young age that they will never be good enough or pretty enough… unless they buy (insert useless product). These companies are taking advantage of the insecurities of young women and using them to make a profit. These companies are telling these women that they need this product or else they will not hold up to society’s standard of beautiful. This can cause even the most intelligent and self-confident woman to think twice about their self worth. It is easy to say “its just a sexist commercial I’m perfect the way I am” but it is incredibly difficult to maintain this thought process when everywhere you look the media is telling you you’re not good enough.

According to Lauren Rosewarne in her article Pinups in Public Space. Sexist Outdoor Advertising as Sexual Harassment, “Despite feminist concerns about the use of women in advertising fervent since the 1960s (Friedan, 1963), one need only look at billboards on any given thoroughfare to ascertain that very little headway has been made to prevent sexist advertising” (314).

It is important to understand that our society is becoming more self-aware of its sexist nature. However, as you drive down a highway you will still see countless advertisements on billboards that are demeaning towards women. Or as you play your video game you will notice the women are hardly wearing any clothing at all. It is not enough to simply recognize that there is a problem. We need to work together and figure out an effective way to combat this issue.

Within the article Images of Women In Online Advertisements of Global Products: Does Sexism Exist? it is stated that “Research has indicated that advertising in these media has rendered distorted body image ideals as valid and acceptable, contributing to gender inequality” (102).

These types of advertisements is normalizing harmful body expectations. It is also causing men to have unrealistic expectations for women. If all they see are flawless women in the media it can cause them to hold women to these ridiculous beauty standards. This is particularly true with young heterosexual men who are beginning to take a romantic interest in women.

According to Susan and Joseph Rossi in their article Gender Differences in the Perception of Women in Magazine Advertising, “Research published in the advertising and marketing literature suggests that a high degree of sexism toward women exists in magazine and television advertising; that is, women tend to be portrayed either in a degrading or demeaning fashion or in sex-role stereotypic behaviors” (1033).

Not only is the media providing women with unrealistic beauty expectations, but they are also demeaning. Women are often hypersexualized and reduced to nothing but a pair of breasts. For example, the images below show model Kate Upton eating a burger. The commercial was for a new spicy burger and it shows her wearing revealing clothing while eating the burger. They then show her undressing in her car because the burger is “so hot”. This commercial is incredibly demeaning towards women because it is reducing this model to parts of her body. The commercial even zoomed in on only her breasts and the burger was not even visible within the shot. Commercials like these perpetuate stereotypical sexual roles for women and reduce them to only being valued for their bodies.

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The issue of how women are portrayed in the media is a huge issue that relates back to education. An entire demographic that we are expected to teach is constantly told that they are not good enough. Thinking back on my time in K-12 schooling I was often distracted by my body image. I would not want to get up in front of class because I was so self conscious about my body, my hair, my make-up, what clothes I was wearing that day. I know that the “ideal image” of what women are supposed to look like that the media presents had an impact on myself and my friends in our classes due to these insecurities following us everywhere we went. It is our responsibility as educators to teach our students about these stereotypes and help them recognize that they do not have to fit within a certain mold of “womanhood”. We also have a responsibility to give them the tools they need to fight back against these stereotypes.



Plakoyiannaki, E., Mathioudaki, K., Dimitratos, P., & Zotos, Y. (2008). Images of Women in Online Advertisements of Global Products: Does Sexism Exist? Journal of Business Ethics,83(1), 101-112.

Rosewarne, L. (2007). Pin-ups in public space. Women’s Studies International Forum,30(4), 313-325.

Rossi, S. R., & Rossi, J. S. (1985). Gender differences in the perception of women in magazine advertising. Sex Roles,12(9-10), 1033-1039.

  1. (2014, May 08). The dangerous ways ads see women | Jean Kilbourne | TEDxLafayetteCollege. Retrieved May 06, 2017, from


I think that good and effective teaching is someone who accommodates to all of their different students and their varying needs. They are someone who works with their students to figure out the best way to teach that individual. My definition of a good and effective teacher has definitely changed since the beginning of this semester. At the beginning of the semester I thought a good teacher was someone who was able to keep the students engaged in class. While this is a very important aspect of teaching I do not believe it is what defines a “good teacher”. I have learned throughout the semester that each students has different needs and varying abilities. It is absolutely crucial to find out what these are so you as a teacher are able to teach them to the best of your ability in a way that is effective for that individual. One teacher standard that this course really helped prepare me for is Teachers understand that children learn differently: The teacher understands how pupils differ in their approaches to learning and the barriers that impede learning and can adapt instruction to meet the diverse needs of pupils, including those with disabilities and exceptionalities.”

The case study we did really helped me understand this concept better because we had to determine a child’s developmental stages. This interests me the most because I am going to be a Special Education teacher and this really pertains to my area. The most significant thing I learned this semester that will help me in the future as a teacher is that it is important to get to know my future students and the things that are going on in their lives. The “I wish my teacher knew” sheet really stuck with me. I plan to do this in the future so that way I can understand my students better by finding out information about them that I otherwise would not have known. I plan to keep my social media accounts professional. It is important not to post inappropriate things because future employers look at our digital identities and it can influence whether or not we get hired, especially as future educators.

Lesson Plans

This past unit I have learned how to create a lesson plan. While this is exciting it is also nerve wracking. This has made me reflect upon what I want to do in the future as an educator. I intend to use assessment techniques other than just tests. Some students do not perform well on tests and it is sometimes due to factors other than they didn’t study. Some student get anxiety from tests and this causes them to do poorly. By integrating papers and projects it will hopefully give students the opportunity to express the knowledge that they have in a way that is comfortable for them. According to an article I read about Backward Design the steps are 1) identify desired results 2) determine acceptable evidence 3) create the learning plans. This is different for me because when I think of designed a lesson I typically think of what activity or lecture I want to do and then think of what I want the outcome to be. However, Backward Design is helpful because when you already know what you want the outcome to be it makes designing the lesson a lot easier.

I designed my lesson using the Backward Design Framework. This was my first time ever actually creating a lesson plan and it was challenging for me. I decided to do an assessment based off of interaction and observation. The point of this lesson is to determine the child’s emotional development. This made things a little difficult because I could not plan out too many instructions to give to the students because I do not want them to act how they think they should in order to do well. However, using backward design I kept in mind that the end goal is to assess where this student is at in their emotional development. This made it easier to come up with an assessment because I already knew how I hoped the student would respond to certain situations. Therefore for part two I already had in mind the situations that the student needed to be put in. The reason I decided to create a lesson on emotional development is because I wanted to create a lesson about something that I might actually have to do in my future as a Special Education Teacher. Overall, I think Backward Design helped me organize my thoughts and create an effective lesson plan. Below you will see the lesson plan that I created.


Unit Title: ____Emotional Development_______________                                                                  

Established Goals: Students will show their ability to express a wide range of emotions and understands and responds to others’ emotions.




Understandings: Students will understand that…• Students will understand how to use facial expressions and movements to express their emotions.





Essential Questions:•  Do they know how to express their feelings?

-Are they able to use facial expressions or other body movements to express their feelings?

-Do they use words and gestures to express complex emotions?

-Do they show empathy for how others’ are feeling?



Students will know:• How to display emotions such as pleasure, anxiety, surprise, anger, disgust, excitement, and disappointment.




Students will be able to:•  Recognize the emotions of other people and respond in an appropriate way.




Performance Tasks:-The child will be put in a positive and a negative interaction to see how they react.

-A friend will pretend to have fallen and be hurt to see if the child reacts in an empathetic way.



Other Evidence:-The way the emotions will be gaged is through emotion charts. For example, after the student is put through a positive situation they will be asked to point to the smiley face that shows what they are feeling. They will be asked to do the same thing for the negative situation as well.

– If the child does not help their friend after they have been injured or if they walk away without showing any sign of sympathy, that will show they may not know how to recognize the emotions of other people or how to response appropriately.

Key Criteria:-The child should respond with smiling in the positive interaction and should show distress in the negative interaction as well as pointing to the smiley face that shows what they are feeling.

-The child should show comfort for their friend who is hurt and possibly offer to get them a band aid.







Summary of Learning Activities: 

If the child does not respond in a way that shows their emotional development is where it should be the teacher needs to show them how they can improve. For example, teach them some coping mechanisms to handle stress or delight. This will teach them how to get their emotions out and express them more.




Ray, R. (2014, January 24). UbD Lesson Plan Template| Understanding By Design. Retrieved April 24, 2017, from



















Differences in the Classroom

We all encounter people in our lives who come from various different backgrounds. In education teachers are guaranteed to have students who have had different experiences than they did. I expect my students to have different home lives than the one I had growing up. Growing up I had two parents that were still married and they both always had steady jobs. I recognize that many of my students may only have one parent or they may live with someone who is not their biological parents at all. Also, growing up my house was in a safe neighborhood and I did not have to worry about my safety. My future students may not have this sense of security and it is my job to understand that. The way I will plan for these differences is to learn about my students’ backgrounds. I will try to get information about what their home life might be like early on. For example in my Educational Psychology class we discussed a way a teacher tried to get to know their students and I could do something similar to the “I wish my teacher knew..” sheet shown below (ProfessorWeber).


On the Carnegie Mellon University webpage there was an article, “Design and Teach a Course” that stated, “When students from different cultures share a classroom – or if you, as the instructor, come from a different culture than your students – it is important to consider how cultural background can affect classroom dynamics and learning”. This quote stuck out to me because I also believe students’ various backgrounds can completely alter the dynamic of the classroom. It is important to understand and address these differences so that the teacher can successfully create an atmosphere where every student is able to learn to the best of their ability.


University, C. M. (n.d.). Who Your Students Are-Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation – Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved April 05, 2017, from


Perspectives of learning

The behaviorist perspective of learning is when emphasis is placed on changes in in behavior due to learned associations; while the cognitive perspective of learning focuses on the brain as being what processes and interprets information. It is important to apply these perspectives of learning to instruction because it allows teachers to better understand the behavior and learning of their students. The view that resides more within my beliefs as a teacher, peer, and student is the behaviorist perspective of learning. While I understand that the brain is responsible for basically everything a person does; I believe it is important to take into consideration outside stimuli and the learned associations and reactions a person can create due to these stimuli. I fit in with the role of student under behavioral because I am a passive student who typically is the recipient of information and I am an active listener who follows directions. I will be able to use this information as a teacher to identify where my own students fall with their beliefs. Do they believe the behaviorist or cognitive perspectives of learning are better and how does that affect their ability to learn as a student? This is a question I will have to ask myself and then work to find out the answers.

The Impact Poverty Has On A Student’s Development

Many things can have an impact on a child’s development and their ability to construct knowledge. One example of something that can have an impact is poverty. While poverty alone doesn’t directly affect a child’s development it can cause other things to happen. In these cases a parent, sometimes, cannot be available to the student as often as necessary. This can cause the student to fall behind in their development. According to Chaya Kulkarni, the director of Infant Mental Health Promotion, “Brain development is heavily dependent on relationships and that primary care relationship is probably the most important one.” This shows how the relationship between parent and child is incredibly important to the child’s development; especially at a young age. Another way poverty can have an impact on development is with nutrition. Sometimes a parent cannot provide nutritious meals and this can cause the parent to stress over this. When the parent is stressed about providing for the family they can become distracted and not be able to attend to their child in all the ways they need and this can have a negative effect on the child. When I am a teacher I need to keep this in mind. A student’s home life can have a direct impact on their day in school and I need to be prepared to cater to each individual students’ needs.

Should Teacher’s Assign Homework?

Teaching and research go hand in hand. Teachers study and discuss research every day in their classes. In the future when I’m a teacher I will be researching information that I can integrate into my lessons and then studying and discussing it with my students.

There is a debate on whether or not students should be given homework. After doing some research of my own I believe that most homework should simply be work that did not get completed in class. Since I am an English Education major and plan on teaching at the high school level I understand that it is necessary to assign a certain level of homework. For example, papers are a necessary assignment because it is my job to teach my students how to write critically. However, it is not necessary to assign a two page paper every week. Instead, four papers per year is sufficient enough to teach the student the skills that they need and for the students to improve upon those skills. The homework that would be assigned on a day-to-day basis would be reading parts of a book that the class did not finish during class.

The reason I think homework should be limited is because too much of it can be detrimental to a student since many have extracurricular activities. According to Natalie Wolchover in her article, Too Much Homework is Bad for Kids, “data shows that in countries where more time is spent on homework, students score lower on a standardized test called the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA”. The article also talks about how the study came to the same conclusions about students who spend more time on their homework. There are many more studies out there like this that prove giving students a lot of homework does not improve their grades and ability to master the subject, and in fact more homework can have a negative impact on the students’ work.



Brock, Cynthia H (2007). Does Homework Matter? An Investigation of Teacher Perceptions About Homework Practices for Children From Nondominant Backgrounds, Vol. 42 (4). 349-372.


Hinchey, Pat. Why Kids Say They Don’t Do Homework, Vol. 69 (4).


Jianzhong, Xu (2009). Homework Purpose Scale for High School Students: A Validation Study, Vol. 70 (3). 459-476.


Natalie Wolchover. (2012, March 30). Too Much Homework Is Bad For Kids. Retrieved February 6, 2017, from Live Science,



Hello, my name is Sarah Klinger and I am a sophomore in college. My major is English Education and my minor is Adaptive Education. I hope to teach at a high school level, but am interested in middle school as well. I am extremely excited to begin the journey to becoming a teacher! I have a little experience with teaching since I am a paraprofessional at summer school, but I teach elementary level children. I am excited to observe a classroom with older students since my major is secondary education.