Medications have become a quick and easy fix for the overworked, overstressed, and all around busy Americans today. Being a capitalist society, pretty much everything has been commodified, even out health. Health is no longer worked towards and achieved through healthy eating, regular physical activity, and good choices, but rather something we buy into by taking pills to better ourselves. It’s also no longer about just being normally healthy, or without illness, but how we can be better humans ad more efficient in the hectic lives we lead today. Stimulant drugs like Ritalin and Adderall are now efficiency drugs for not just students, but also adults who need something to give them that extra edge. If this continues, pressures will create an even more competitive society in which everyone has to take these types of medication to compete and keep up with abusers. This makes evident the health views of Americans today; that it is a pill away and easily manipulated to our advantaged. In reality, though, drugs affect many parts of our bodies, sometimes unknown to us, and are not as cut-and-dry as we believe.
The advertisement above utilizes several strategies to attract certain demographics and sell their product. Notice a 50’s esque woman pictured, and a giant box of laundry detergent with the metaphorical claim that Prozac will ‘wash away’ your problems like soap in clothes. Who are they trying to attract here? Married woman, from newlyweds and up. Women are more that twice as likely to develop depression in their lifetime as men, making them the prime target for Prozac-producers. Targeting a larger audience of sufferers leads to more buyers, and thus more money. It also displays a fit, well-dressed, and happily-dancing woman. This creates the expectation that by taking your depression medication, aka Prozac, you will become a functioning, beautiful, and social woman ready to take on your daily responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, etc in the 50’s). The use of the detergent as a medium to sell medication is also a manipulation towards their demographic. Who did laundry in the 50’s? All women. Most also did not attend higher education, and thus probably wouldn’t understand medical terminology. Advertisers integrated this medication into something they use everyday to make is seem average and safe, as well as inform them of its effects and use in a manner they would easily understand and therefore seek out. (I’m not stating women are less intelligent in any manner, only that in the 50’s their roles were generally in the home.)