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November 21, 1986 - Image 86

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

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

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Singled Out

Continued from preceding page

that some single people lead
average and sometimes
lonely lives."
Imerman, who is divorced,
believes advertisements can
impact the way some singles
view their lives. "I think
those positive images affect
singles in terms of their ex-
pectations for life, relation-
ships and careers. When
things don't look for you the
way they do in the media,
you feel let down. You won-
der, 'What am I doing
wrong?' "
Marcie Brogan, of Brogan
Kabot Advertising in South-
field, agrees that the problem
results in part from the na-
ture of the advertising busi-
ness. "Advertising people are
optimists," she says. "You
wouldn't be in this business
unless you thought the very
best of things." She calls this
optimism "a natural flaw of
the business," and believes it
is responsible for the ten-
dency of many advertisers to
glamorize single people.
Brogan also suggests that
some advertisers may be
guilty of projecting their own
lifestyles into their adver-
tisements, rather than re-
flecting an image that is
representative of their audi-
ences. "People in this busi-
ness tend to be trendy and
avante-garde," she says, add-
ing that "many of them are
well-paid. It is possible that
some advertisers are assum-
ing their lifestyle is represen-
tative of the average con-
sumer. Some of (the advertis-
ers) aren't close enough to
consumers to know what
they're really like."
But Brogan doesn't believe
the actions of advertisers
have any serious implications
for societal perceptions. "I be-
lieve that people are smart
enough to look at an ad and,
if it has application for their
lifestyle, then possibly they
will be influenced. But I don't
think (singles) feel bad be-
cause their lifestyle isn't as
glamorous as what they see
in the media. I think people
look at an ad for what it is.
People are smart enough to
do that."
Apparently, not all singles
agree. Lillian Rosenberg of
West Bloomfield believes that
singles "feel guilty about not
being as popular as they're
portrayed in commercials,"
and says that the image proj-
ected by advertisers is "com-
pletely unnatural. The aver-
age single person is not
glamorous and doesn't have
the most exciting lifestyle."
Rosenberg, who is both di-
vorced and widowed, blames
advertisers for exploiting
singles by playing off their
desire to meet people. "We're
told if we use a certain
mouthwash, we'll be suc-
cessful. (Advertisers) act as if
singles are obsessed with
being beautiful, popular and
Ad-venturous." Single people;
she `daYg,'afe . regarded 'as an

.

oddity by advertisers. "But,"
she adds, "single life is just
as real and normal as mar-
ried life."
Marcie Margolis stands out
as one single who feels quite
differently about the image of
singles in advertisements.
Margolis, 26, of Livonia, said
she feels that advertisers pre-
sent a positive image of sing-
les that she can readily iden-
tify with. "I think advertisers
present a good image, espe-
cially for women," she says.
"It's an image that the
woman of the '80s can relate
to." Margolis says that she
can see aspects of her own
life in advertisers' popular
depiction of single women,
"being successful in my
career and being satisfied
with my life."

There are, however, those
singles who feel that, far
from reinforcing their lifes-
tyles, advertisers contradict
them by perpetuating
stereotypes of male and
female attitudes and roles.
For some singles, these im-
ages have had a strong im-
pact on their social interac-
tions.

For Dolores Curiel, 44, of
Farmington Hills, advertis-
ers's stereotyes of "men on
the make and women looking
for a husband" have had at
times an inhibiting effect on
her willingness to meet other
singles through social func-
tions. Curiel, who is divorced,
says, "That image sometimes
makes me avoid going out to
meet people, because I don't
want to give the impression
I'm like that. I feel very
different from that image,
and I don't want to be judged
before I'm dealt with on an
individual level."

Jakob Burnstein, 43, of
Southfield, has a similar
complaint. He believes that
the popular image of men as
sexually aggressive affects
both men's and women's per-
ceptions of how they are sup-
posed to behave. Burnstein
says, "Men are discriminated
against (in advertisements).
Advertisers like to depict us
as looking for a fast time, the
chance to get lucky. Most of
the time, we're just looking
for a way to pass a lonely
evening.

"I think that image con-
fuses a lot of men. It makes
them feel they can't be sensi-
tive. I'm sure it makes
women a little defensive
towards us, too. Whatever
men are looking for, it's not
necessarily a one-night stand.
We're also looking for friend-
ship and understanding."

Short of asking that adver-
tisers take a broader view of
the single consumer, is there
any way to improve the situ-
ation? Some singles offer that
the best advice is to look for
you'r identity not—iti the
but ynarself.

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