Big Question: What does it mean to be the “target market”?

Being the target of an advertisement or other piece of media can take many forms. The first form is positive while the second form is negative.  In the positive end of things, at least positive for white straight cis men of the upper to middle class, is that the media is what they want to see.  For example, as outlined in the Chambers article, there is a significant amount of heteronormativity in the L Word despite the fact that it is theoretically about lesbians.  Music videos and movies and advertisements are targeted at those particular kinds of men and therefore being marketed to is a very positive experience that has become so commonplace that it seems unsettling when there is a different target demographic.  

For cis women, people of color, and anyone in the LGBT community, being marketed to can be a very negative experience. For example, as pointed out in  “Assimilating the Queers,” the stereotypical gay, fashion forward, put together, white, cis gay man is exactly the sort of representation that would probably at least partially target the LGBT community.  This however is a hurtful, incorrect stereotype that ends up alienating a large part of the LGBT population even more. For women, being the target demographic, as also elaborated on in “Selling the Body Beautiful,” means being degraded and expected to be endeared by it.  The advertisements that shame women for all of their choices and looks are geared towards making them feel guilty and inadequate.  Most media marketed towards women is marketed towards that stereotype of women not wanting anything very deep and meaningful and that they would rather watch something more vapid, which adds to the harmful impact of media on women and how they feel about themselves and other women.  

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