討論逐字稿 Killing Us Softly

Closing statements:
I want to talk about something in the video, I watched it yesterday. In the video, she showed a lot of photoshopped pctures, and people working and reworking the model's bodies, to make them more beautiful. It shocked me really much, we recieve a lot of images, but they're not true! We think that models are born with those beatiful bodies and faces, but actually those models are just like us, normal people. But advertising changes the world to sell products and to sell some kind of image and change our concept, change our life.

I'm surprised that there are different images for different populations, for advertisement, women always have the smaller dogs, and the men always have bigger and strong dogs, like labrador, so the advertisement wants to give us the expectiation, or the idea that women should be more slim, or more soft, or something else, and men must be strong and powerful, and actually, I want to deny the concept, because even if the strengh of women is weaker than men, should we encourage this idea for everyone?

I don't agree that women are weaker than men. We have endurance strength.
And we can handle more than men.

I think we may be fooled by ads for a long time, but I think ads are not always bad, they create needs, it's how we create the economic world, it's how the money circulates, it's how our life gets better. But there comes the problem, is our life really better now? And comfort-wise, yeah, but i don't still don't know the answer.

For advertisement, as i know, it's for selling things and promoting things and persuading people to buy their products, but for these promotion strategies really affect our social value, and it also affects our value, affect the way we evaluate things. I also agree that advertisement treat men and women different, they create an unfair image for the women, but I think like other toxic things in our environment, we should find some ways to live with this kind of toxin. We should have our own opinion to choose what we should be and the way we want to live.

I think advertisement is business, and, it's like, buying things often you don't need, and it's encouraging people to buy things, and new things, and people forget what they really need, and the thing that they already have they actually can reuse. Because recently I'm reading a book about environment, it talks about advertisement and waste.

My question about advertising is, is there another way to do it without reducing people to stereotypes?

Discussion:
How does advertising work?
To persuade people to do something.
How does it persuade people?
It announces the benefits of the products.
Telling us some story to create our need. Give us some image that we will need this product and we need to do something.
Showing that everyone uses the product.
Creating a trend. If you don't follow it, you're out.
Maybe just by announcing it exists.
Like you just see coke everywehre, so the next time you try it, you're like, ok, coke.
There a marketing strategy, "product placement". Like they pay a movie to put their product in it.

Why does advertising work?
Why do you think it works?

Because we are human, we are emotional, we are easily affected
I think it's true about emotional. You know, normally we think of emotions as being weak, this is what our culture tells us, you know, we're supposed to be rational human beings, but I think that actually, we're emotional before we're rational, and this is actually our strength. I think we have to learn how to be ourselves as emotional beings.
We have desires, we want more, better.
I think it's human nature to want to improve.
Ya, I agree.

The average American sees 3000 ads every day.
And spends 2 years of their life watching commercials.
Do you think that's a lot?

Huge.
Yeah, that's a lot.
Every day.
I don't know how that's possible, actually.
But that includes on the tv and on the street,
Posters, yeah, and the products that sell. Yah, like Chanel, on the Sogo building.
I forgot where I saw this, but in a developing country, maybe India? The poor people don't have money to paint their house, they can build it, but they don't have the money to paint it, but they foreign companies offer to come paint it for you, with their ads.
That's both really clever and really horrifying
So there's like coca cola everywhere
So colorful!

Do you think Taiwanese watch fewer or more ads than Americans?
But 3000 is too much! I think maybe 1000!

"Oh, I just don't pay attention to ads. I just tune them out. They have no effect on me."
Agree or disagree?

I think even if we announced that we couldn't be affected by the advertisement, but actualy we are affected by them. Just like you know Chanel, it's advertisement. The advertisement make you to know that the name is chanel
Even though we can't afford to buy Chanel.
You don't afford but it also has its effect on you.
We are aware about the brand.
My younger sister, when she watches tv, she can watch two or three channels at the same time, she just switches.
I think even if we switch off the commercials, the ads affect our thoughts, and put some images in our mind. For instance, I think for a lot of people in Taiwan, when we visit our friends, we would like to choose a famous product to give them, like Gao Gang Wu Nori.
"It's a treasure, from your best friend". That's what they claim.

What's the difference between affect / effect
"it affects sb." Verb
"it makes an effect on somebody." Noun

"Only 8% of an ad's message is received by the conscious mind. The rest is worked and reworked deep within the recesses of the brain."
--Rance Crain, Former Senior Editor of Advertising Age.
What was your reaction when you read that?

By the way, deep within the recesses of your mind is a really typical collocation in English
Subliminal
We're not talking about subliminal advertising here, because you do see it, you just don't count it, you just don't think it's important so you don't think you're paying attention.
The information we receive from ads may not be true.
That's one aspect, yeah.
I think, because if I don't need something at this time, i won't consciously pay attention to that kind of product, so it doesn't go to the conscious mind.
But when you do need it later on you'll think of it?
Maybe.

How would you define 'a toxic environment'?
It involves environmental protection.
Like if someone was smoking in here, would that be toxic?
If you don't like the smell, you will think it's a...
It's air pollution!
Like the ads that objectify women.
That' s the take home point here, obviously.
Objectify?
Women are just like a product. Not a human being, just some thing.

How much pollution does there have to be for an environment to be toxic?
What does toxic mean?
Poisonous
Like kills you poisonous?
Harmful
Ok, so how much harm should there be for it to be toxic?
You can't afford it, you can't tolerate it.
I like 'afford' better, because I feel like we can tolerate things even when we can't afford them.
Like a few years ago, there was too much violence in the news.
Like very vivid descriptions of it.
"graphic descriptions" "graphic violence"
"it was too graphic" = it shows too much violence, but often in the US it means, it shows too much sex, or too much of the human body.
I remember when along time when Bai Bingbing's daughter was kidnapped, and her daughter's corpse was on the cover of the newspaper.
Oh god, yes.

What do you suppose could be considered a toxic emotional environment?
Is there a toxic rational environment?
I mean, it's emotionally toxic for us.
I think it's when an environment, the advertisement, the mainstream everything, but people don't know about it, it's toxic.


If your boss yelled at employees every day, even if they didn't yell at you, would you consider your work environment toxic?
Because of the pressure, it puts people in a bad mood

If you went to work or home and everyday you heard people saying stuff like, "Oh, she's useless, she never does anything right, well you know people from _________ never amount to anything, it's like genetic, right? It's just not possible for them to _________." Would that constitute a toxic environment?
I think being with a negative person is also toxic. For example, one of my colleagues, out of her mouth, there's nothing positive.
You mean she complains all the time.
She complains and she never gives people credit. If you try something new, teaching skill wise, she never...
I can't beleive it, because there should be at least something good that happens in her life.
Your colleague is an elementary school teacher? How can she…?
Yes!
I just can't stand it, she sits next to me, she's so negative! And she worries about the tiniest thing.
I think it's not 'worry about', it's 'complain about'.
She worries.
About the weather?
Is she married?
why does that matter?
I'm just thinking that's what she's worrying about.
I can give you an example, like scheduling. You know it's actually my job. But she worries too much, so she just did it. And she comes up with like ten versions of it
Ten!
That's what I mean, she worries about tiny things. She has ten scenarios in her head, so she came up with ten versions of the schedule.
The schedule of what?
Of the classes, for the whole school.
So that thing that takes you three days to do, she does ten versions?
She does the english classes only!
But why does that negatively impact you? ...I'm hoping you can articulate it for us.
It's like there's no good things in the surroundings...
Or is it bothering for you to have to discuss with her?
...which makes me not want to talk about things with her.
Because every time she has one thing, she has negative things on it.
You can't make any conclusion.
Because, my training, when I was in my previous job, when we came up with something new, we would just try it, to see what needed to be adjusted. But for her, she needs to think it through, but that's not possible, to think it through, you always have to do it first, and then adjust it. Otherwise you cannot to anything. So she just gives us negative influence.
So her students must receive negative influences.
I hate when people sigh all the time. It makes me feel hopeless.
I think it means that you are useless!
Useless?
Yeah, useless.
my grandma was like that before.some people are like, 'bubububu', and….
They imply it!
…they're disappointed.
Nothing can please them
Yes! that's my sister!
Yeah, that's my family
Really!
No matter how hard you try? Wow.

Here's some quotes from Banksy:
"People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you're not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it."
"They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you."
"They are "The Advertisers" and they are laughing at you. "
Did anything strike you when you read this statement?

I like the sentence, "They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you."
Yeah, me too.
I think we still have the power of our choice.

What did you feel when you heard/read this?
I like his paintings.
That's not about the quote though!
Yeah, they owe us. We've been played around for too long.

Do you agree with Banksy?
Yep.


"Ads sell more than products. They sell values, they sell images, they sell concepts of love and sexuality, of success. and perhaps most importantly, of normalcy. To a great extent, they tell us who we are, and who we should be."
Agree or disagree?
normalcy [nawr-muhl-see]= the state of being normal = normality
I agree.

What struck you about this statment?.
The last sentence. "Who we should be"
Oh, like what do you mean?
Advertising creates a trend, and most people will follow the trend, and if you don't follow the trend, you are not normal, and...
And that's hard
...yeah, and so advertising telling us who we should be, most people will feel they should follow.
Advertisement makes something really cool, and everyone wants to have that thing because it's cool.
They want to prove that they're with it.
They create a kind of social value, core value
Yeah.
But I still think we can be who we are. We can decide to be one of them, or just be ourself.
I'm reminded of when you said you did the opposite of everyone else
But what we're talking about is not always a bad thing.
What do you mean?
I mean that ads don't always sell products, they also sell a value. Like during these recent years, gay people's rights is already beign focussed on. But like 10 years ago, it's a taboo to talk about it. And this is also something to do with ads promoting this kind of ideal, like that people are normal.
So ads can do good things and bad things
Yeah.

Think about some ads that you've seen that are for men. Like computer products, watches, razors, even men's facial creams. What are the messages there?
I was thinking of the Biore ad where he scrubs his face so violently, and you know, for women we're supposed to be so gentle with our face skin, because our skin is so different from men! Ha.
I think most of the men's ads are, the men are very manly.
Yes, very handsome.
Very strong powerful, muscles.
They're often very black and white, or grey, or very dark.
Think about shaving ads.
Oh, they're always naked! So muscly! I'm sorry but...!
You're so honest.
So women are never naked.
That's not true thought they're often naked, just not muscly.
Computer ads are always aimed at men. The women's ones are always like oh, here's this computer, in pink!
I hate averything for women is pink.
I don't even like pink.
Did you know that in 1910 pink was a color for little boys? Women got married in light blue, light blue was considered what was appropriate for little girls. Pink was considered a stronger color, so obviously stronger was for little boys. (eyeroll)
But computer ads, what do they emphasise?
They emphasise that it's lightweight, they emphasise the function.
And they throw the computers around.
To focus on the function and durability and specifications, light, and fast.

Ok, now think about some ads that you've seen that are for women. Like beauty products, fashion ads, food ads, ads which show moms in them, even computer products aimed at women.
What are the messages there?

Pretty.
Sexy
And we will become very charming if we buy the product
Really?
They imply it!
Kind, patient, loving, caring
Taking care of everything.
Full of love
Cooking. Wanjia xiang
Happy
Clean
White, pure.
In taiwan, they're always cute.

Is the world different for men and women? That is to say, are men and women living in the same environment?
No, it's different. For instance, when the internet shopping website, they will shows girls in advertisements, but they will not show men.
Often in advertisement, they create an image of professional success for men.
Almost in all the car advertisments
And wine!
And I found that if the dog is with the women, they will be small, and if they're with the man, it'll be a golden retriever, and big, and the girl will have the maltese.
Yes, espeically if it's a fashion woman, it's a little tiny dog.


Here's what I think are the messages for men and women.
"Those other people are there for your sexual enjoyment, but they're not really people you have to take seriously."
"You are there for those other people's sexual enjoyment, but you're not really worth all that much, unless you're really sexy.
And even then, you're not to be taken seriously."
Do you agree or disagree with me?

I don't know if it's about the social value, or if it's ads create the world, or if our social value to make the advertisement to use this value to sell things. I don't know which one is initiate this situation. Because when we have a baby, if it's a girl baby, we will put the pink dress on them, if we have a boy, we will let him wear some blue clothes. And then sometimes, the parents will tell us that, because you're a girl, so you should be more patient, you don't need to study hard, just get a good husband and get a better life. We will have some traditional concept about this.
Yeah, in college i used to think, oh, well, if I screw up I can just get married, and it undermined me. It means you don't try as hard, as if you know that you're the only one who can take care of you.
Yeah, it's like you get married, and it's happilly ever after.
But that's what every movie says
But it's not totally true.

What do you think the messages are?
Maybe the traditional expectation for women and men is different.

Do you like looking at yourself in the mirror?
It's okay x4
No x1
Sometimes x1

What do you look at first in the mirror?
My hair.
That's because you don't like your haircut!
My eyes x2
I look if there's something on my face
I never thought about this, but I guess my hair because my hair is always like boom.
Like an explosion?
I always look at my hips.

What is your deal breaker? Meaning, what part of you has to look good in order for you to feel okay about going out in public?
What part of you do you feel, "if only it looked better, things would be okay"?

What do you know about photoshopping of images?
Do you measure yourself against pictures you see in magazines?

Jean Kilbourne says, "Failure is inevitable because the ideal is based on absolute flawlessness. You almost never see a picture of a woman considered beautiful that hasn't been photoshopped. So the image isn't real, it's artificial, it's constructed, but real women and girls measure ourselves against this image, every single day."
5:59
"I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford" --Cindy Crawford


"Put on more clothes."
"footbinding"

Actually, no matter what you do, you can't live up to the beauty ideal. This ad actually just lays it out for us.
"Your breasts may be too big, too saggy, too pert, too flat, too full, too far apart, too close together, too A cup, too lopsided, too jiggly, too pale, too padded, too pointy, too pendulous, or just two mosquito bites. But with Dep styling products, at least you can have your hair the way you want it."
We both get the message that we have to be impossibly beautiful, hot, thin, sexy, and at the same time we get the message that we're going to fail.
Can you imagine an ad for men that went like that?
"Your penis might be too small, too droopy, too limp, too lop-sided, too narrow, too fat, too pale, too pointy, too blunt, or just two inches! But at least you can have a great pair of jeans."
If there were more ads in the world like this targeting men, would that be a good thing?

Yes!
More equal!
That would be fun!

Would it improve things?
No, it's too negative.
I think men will learn to be more humble.
But I mean, both the ads are too negative.

We often see white women in ads in Taiwan, and also mainland China.
What's your feeling about that?

I always thought that colored skin is quite beautiful, like brownish color skin.
Well, white people prefer tanned skin.
I think it's ok for me. Because I think that's different beautiful. I think white women have their style, and asian women are different. They are all beautiful, but just different type. So for me, it's okay to see like nicole kidman.
I think, asian girls really like to whiten their skin, and cosmetics, they emphasise making the skin whiter.
I was kind of shocked when I first got to taiwan and saw all the ads with white people in them. I was expecting that it would be all Taiwanese people, and I kind of wondered, can you identify with t aperson if they're not the same race as you?
Also, I wondered, do the ones with white poeple try to give you like a worldly feeling?
I think it's a kind of image, if you use this kind of product, it makes you better, like a white woman.
So that's the problem, it makes white better.
Is that how it is, do you agree?
Yes, it's more 'fashion', more clothes fashion
So white is better,
Yes, in my thinking.
I wasn't expecting you guys to say that.
Most the women carry umbrellas.
Even in winter
Well I get too hot so I carry one in summer for that, but people thought I carried it to avoid tanning, but that's not what i mean
But even no sun, people use umbrellas, and I use an umbrella because I get a migrane if too much sun. And I get tanned after the summer, and my grandma says 'your skin is darker, it's not pretty', and I say how come tan is not pretty.

Jean Kilbourne says, "Women of color are generally considered beautiful only if they approximate the white ideal."
Do you think this statement is true? Do you think it's true of models here?

We've been brainwashed, so i don't know.
It's really a word in english?
Yes, I think it's actually a translated loan word from Chinese, I'm not sure though.

easy to be affected = taiwan english better: "Easily affected"
hardly to be affected = taiwan english better: "not easily affected"

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