|This newest edition of Jean Kilbourne's influential and award-winning Killing Us Softly series shows how the advertising industry continues to reinforce, and glamorize, a regressive and debased notion of femininity. Using a wide range of contemporary print and television ads, Kilbourne lays bare a misogynistic fantasy world of undernourished, oversexed, and objectified women, and examines these images against the real-world backdrop of eating disorders, men's violence against women, and the political backlash against feminism. At once provocative and inspiring, Killing Us Softly 4 challenges young people to question traditional gender norms and think critically about the fundamental relationship between representation and power.
Praise for the film:
"When I was a freshman in college, I saw Jean Kilbourne speak in support of her documentary Killing Us Softly -- and it quite literally changed my life. It illuminated so much about how the media work and the impact of ads on our collective psyche when it comes to self-esteem, body image and women. I am not exaggerating when I say that it put me on the path to becoming whatever it is I am today (girl advocate, body image activist, and feminist writer). Well, now an updated version of Killing Us Softly is out... and if you have never seen any of Jean's work, now is the time."
Audrey Brashich | Author of All Made Up: A Girl's Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty
"Jean Kilbourne's work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American culture -- advertising. We owe her a great debt."
Susan Faludi | Author, Backlash and Stiffed
"In today's hypercommercialized media climate, Kilbourne's main point -- that advertising creates a toxic cultural environment in which sexual objectification, physical subjugation and intellectual trivialization of women has deep psychological and political resonance -- is more compelling than ever."
Jennifer L. Pozner | Executive Director of Women in Media & News | Author of Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV
"Every semester, my new crop of students continue to be shocked awake by this film."
Melanie Klein | FeministFatale.com
"The response from the students was simply amazing. They clapped when the video ended! That is a first in my 37+ years of college teaching. One of my students came up after class and said: 'This video just changed my life.' Jean Kilbourne's impact on our students is simply awesome."
Tom Proietti | Professor of Communication | Monroe Community College | Rochester, NY
"As timely and important as ever... A must for everyone who cares about media literacy and gender equity."
Susan Douglas | Author, Where the Girls Are: Growing Up With the Mass Media
"Sex sells, and this update of author and lecturer Jean Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly film series examines how advertising tactics and images in popular culture reinforce unrealistic viewpoints about "beauty, perception, and identity." Speaking before an appreciative audience, with accompanying visuals (advertising and print-media stills, television clips, and commercials) smoothly intercutting the lecture, Kilbourne clearly relays statistics, anecdotes, and quotes. Many of the clips show impossibly glamorous, thin women (sometimes digitally enhanced or a composite), and according to Kilbourne, girls and women often try to conform to these images, resulting in widespread eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. She believes some contemporary ads border on pornography, and females are objectified, and products (from burritos to beer) are sexualized. Men fare better, but masculine portrayals are often linked with violence. Kilbourne urges viewers to change their attitudes and become 'citizens,' not consumers. Promises to promote discussion in women's studies groups and mass-media classes."
"I just saw Killing Us Softly in my sociology class and was absolutely amazed, inspired and outraged!"
Leigh Ann | Student
"Jean Kilbourne's work is profoundly important. She's one of those people who makes a difference in how we see the world."
Arlie Hochschild | Director of the Center for Working Families | University of California, Berkeley
"Killing Us Softly 4 is an important, updated critique of the pernicious influence advertising has on women and men."
Anthropology Review Database
"Hearing Jean Kilbourne is a profound experience. Audiences leave her feeling she teaches them to see themselves and their world differently."
Carole Beebe Tarantelli | Member of Italian Parliament
"Jean Kilbourne is a prophet calling out in the wilderness for fundamental change in the way we communicate publicly with one another."
"Jean Kilbourne's arguments are as focused and unassailable as those of a good prosecutor. Piece by piece she builds a case for an America deeply corrupted by advertisers."
Mary Pipher | Author, Reviving Ophelia
"...ads continue to teach men contempt for women and the feminine side of themselves. All encourage people to think that life's problems are best solved with products... With skill, humor and acuteness, Kilbourne encourages action against these society -- weakening images. Never shrill, her indictment is, if anything, understated."
Jay Carr | The Boston Globe
"A must-have for classroom discussions and women's conferences."
"Jean Kilbourne is opening the public's eyes to the subtle way ads demean or exploit us. Her writing and research have made her a recognized expert in the field."
Christine Madsen | The Christian Science Monitor
"Advertisements have undergone sociological scrutiny before... but rarely with such humanistic conviction. Jean Kilbourne's gift for metaphor threads her presentation together. As each theme is stated and documented, her audiences are moved to laughter, anger, and, in some cases, no doubt, action."
James Morrow | Media and Methods
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