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November 21, 1986 - Image 84

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-11-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


I isgoir
loel Itasitan: Acivertisers image of
singles "puts pressure on some
singles to conform."

- ciblrestyrrens•
Jackob Burnstein: "Men are
a discriminated against in

-rablitat 7rA vir
Marcie Margolis: "I think
advertisers present a good
image, especially for women."

a lkia
J s ame.1.7rsilas h
Rosenberg: "The average
single person is not glamorous
and doesn't have the most
exciting lifestyle."

.4.111Gra LYirdzwr
Alex Bensky : "I
advertisements don't look to
identify with." for images to


Some singles feel alienated
by the macho and sexy
stereotypes advertisers
ascribe to non-marrieds


Special to The Jewish News

ccording to some area
singles, they have an
image problem in the
media today. Many say that
portrayals of singles in ad-
vertisements are stereotypes,
and reflect only a very selec-
tive image of how singles ac-
tually live and think. If, in
fact, advertisers are attempt-
ing to influence single con-
sumers, they may be alienat-
ing the large portion of that
population that does not
identify with the typically
youthful and trendy images
that are presented.
The United States Census
Bureau this year reported
that some 20.6 million
Americans now live alone, a
90 percent jump in one-
person households over the
past 15 years. While this in-
crease is in part the result of
young men and women post-
poning marriage, much of it
is due to widowhood and di-
vorce among those between
the ages of 25 and 44.
Yet, some singles believe
that advertisers ignore the
statistics and consistently put
forth an image that reflects a
decidedly narrow section of
today's singles population.
They see singles in adver-
tisements depicted as young,
sexy, childless, successful in
relationships and careers and
ruggedly independent, images
that appear with surprising
regularity over a wide span
of consumer products. What

they don't see are older sing-
Alex Bensky, 37, of Detroit,
les, single parents, and more
is single. He believes that in
or less average lifestyles.
their depictions of singles,
Singles may be familiar
advertisers "simplify the facts
with the following: a sham-
and leave out a lot of less at-
poo advertisement in which a
tractive aspects of single life
glamorous and well-to-do
to make a good story." Be-
young woman holds a city's
nsky said he feels that the
male population spellbound
single life as depicted in ad-
with her shining hair. Dar-
vertisements "certainly isn't
ingly sexual ads for designer
the sole way in which singles
clothes that feature two men
live. In reality, you'll find a
and a woman in various
much wider range of ap-
stages of undress. Or the
spirnogalce h
s ),
e. s, to living (among
wide variety of advertise- ,
ments for everything from
Joel Kashdan, 38, of South-
health cereals to cigarettes
field, agrees that advertisers
that show young and exciting
are selective in their depic-
men and women taking on
tion of the single lifestyle. He
the world, alone and in style.
believes that image "puts
The slogans that accom-
pressure . on some singles to
pany these ads emphasize the
conform. They see that they
trend to a great extent. Prod-
should behave a certain way,
ucts are exclusively designed
so they do, because they
for "the man who lives on the
think it's going to make them
edge," or the sassy young
woman who dares to be more.
Kashdan, who has never
These ads tell us to "be a
been married, tells of how he
part of it," and that "the only
once found himself pursuing
important thing is to keep
the image through the sing-
les bar scene. "Eventually,"
If there is a bright side to
he says, "I got burned out
any of this, it may be that
going every night to meet
singles have been acknowl-
people. I think the average
edged in the media as an in-
person goes into that sort of
trinsic part of our culture. It's
situation thinking it's going
acceptable to be a -single per-
to be great. Then they find
son in America today. But,
out it's not all it's built up to
for the most part, those who
do not fit advertisers' popular
However, Ray Serafin, De-
version of the single lifestyle
troit' bureau chief _for Adver-
say they feel hard-pressed to -
tising Age, a weekly interna,-
find images they can identify
ytional journal 'of. marketing,
.`arg- ues that advertisers` don't


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