Yesterday Creative Director of DWAN, Dr Jenna Ashton, spoke to Chelsea Norris at BBC Radio Manchester about the recent ASA CAP report “Depictions, Perceptions and Harm: A report on gender stereotypes in advertising”.
Reflecting on the content and findings of the report, Dr Ashton discussed the damaging influence of stereotyping and gender representation in the mainstream media on young people’s wellbeing, sense of identity and aspirations. Dr Ashton also suggested we need to think intersectionally around gender, and also consider representations of class, race, disability, age and sexuality. Dr Ashton disagrees with an element of the report’s conclusion which misguidedly suggests that sexualisation and representations of the body (i.e. too fat/too thin) is a separate issue from gender stereotyping.
The report is welcomed by DWAN for its contribution to the discussion around social responsibility of corporate advertising, but feels we need to go further than simply offer new legislation. We need a culture shift in wider education around gender, stereotypes and its harmful normalisation across many areas of visual and media culture.