Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


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First Advisor

Jonna Holland, Ph.D.


Women are faced with a constant barrage of advertisements every day and the subliminal messages that come with this visual assault. These messages are influenced by years of sexism and oversexualization in the media, and shape the actions of female consumers. This investigation reviews three existing studies that demonstrate the negative effects of beauty advertisements on women. These effects are then studied through the lens of female consumer behavior to evaluate women’s motivations in continuing to buy beauty products. A link between negative effects and consumer motivations is discussed to reveal the harsh grip of sexism on the beauty and advertising industries. A content analysis of beauty advertisements then defines current trends in advertising and potential impacts of the growing intolerance for sexual harassment. The hypothesis of this study is threefold:

  1. The imagery used by the beauty industry has negative effects on female consumers by providing unrealistic standards and lowering self-esteem.
  2. These effects create a strong need to purchase beauty products to fit the ideals of modern society.
  3. Just as advertising previously shifted with social movements, the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns could potentially change the portrayal of women.

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Marketing Commons