Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Sue Westcott Alessandri

Honors Reader

Tridib Mazumdar

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories



In this study, national advertisements for shampoo products were compared from 1954 and 2004 through the utilization of Katherine Toland Frith’s “Undressing the Ad” technique. This analysis procedure measures the underlying meaning of an advertisement through the dissection of the surface, intended, and cultural/ideological meaning. This study used 10 advertisements, five from each respective decade, to measure each advertisement’s level of stereotyping toward females and gender stereotyping cultivation in general. The study revealed that the 1954 advertisements more directly projected gender stereotyping; however, the 2004 advertisements also contained the stereotypes on an indirect level. Additionally, the analysis uncovered the fact that the most common themes within the ads related to female body image, insecurity, and attractiveness to males. The 2004 advertisements affect the female viewer on a subconscious level and fit with the current stagnation in the female push for gender equality unlike in the post1950s era. Similarly to the indirect, passive messages of 2004 advertisements, women appear to have moved their gender revolution to the backdrop and now less directly fight for their place in society. In further research, it is crucial to deeply analyze advertisements with the intent of finding these indirect gender stereotypes and cultural messages in order to fully understand advertising’s effects on the social landscape.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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