By Sonia David:
“If we don’t have a beautiful woman in the ad, the brand won’t run”
Yes, that’s exactly what all the men say, be it viewers or film makers or other media persons. Women, not just any women for that matter, but beautiful, half nude women are used to star in advertisements that are so irrelevant, just so that the products are promoted. A very simple and well-known example is, Beyonce, starring in the ‘Heat’ perfume ad. She is dressed so inappropriately.
I mean, what is the need of exposing your cleavage for a perfume ad, and why a woman, most importantly?
Why couldn’t a man with 6 packs star for the same ad instead of a woman?
And, you already have the answer that people would give.Well not just that, what about the Popsies potato chips ad that Katy Perry stars in, posing inappropriately. Even those stupid men’s deodorant advertisements, they all involve pretty women advertising for them. Every new Axe deodorant ad that is premiered on television portrays half nude women running behind the man who apparently sprays that deodorant. But isn’t it unnecessary?
Do you think men actually use certain deodorants to experience that kind of rubbish?
Why are women only used as ‘nude objects’ on television?
As the world becomes more and more male dominating and male chauvinistic, people are losing themselves and their minds to the rubbish shown on televisions. From everywhere in movies to songs to advertisements on television, they have a need to star beautiful half nude women to promote their product. Well, speaking of advertisements, another example may be that of the ‘Budweiser Beer’ ad.It involves half nude women posing in front of the logo, saying ‘King of Beers’.
My question is why are women used for such insignificant advertisements on the television? They say nude women are worth more for their company’s products than men? Well, that’s how the mindset has apparently become eventually.
However, yet another example is that of the Boycott Bull Riding World Cup poster that was published. Usually, when we say Bull Riding World cup, we think of a bull, in literal context, but when this poster came out, people were not only stunned, but they were more confused. It was a half nude woman, sitting in a seducing position on a haystack. I am still wondering how she is related to a bull riding world cup. Even certain car and bike advertisements consist of women promoting their product.
The state of women in advertising today is a mixed bag of progress and challenge. Progressive advertisements exist but only target a relatively small mass of the population. Despite their limited scope, the progressive message of independence and empowerment is still strong. The huge increase in sexualized advertisements over the past 50 years or so has in many ways increased the options that women have, but overall has the extremely detrimental effect of portraying women as something to be lusted after and acquired. These notions of the so-called society that we live in, also lead to such the shocking consequences of rapes, harassment, and other forms of abuse against women.
They not only contribute to body imaging issues in women as they see advertisements as such but also tend to have a fantasy world where they want to look and become like the model on television. So, how is the Television media really affecting the audience? Is it encouraging male chauvinism or is it also encouraging Body Shaming? While there are a million controversies against these, and yet the ads don’t stop portraying women like the way they are being portrayed.
It’s high time that we stop playing the blame game and change, not anyone else, but ourselves. For those narrow-minded families who feel nothing when viewing a half nude woman in an ad, but get hyper when a topless man comes in, why the discrimination? If you can see item numbers in movies and sing to them, but feel disgusted and embarrassed when a muscular man takes her place, then you must wake up from your male chauvinistic fantasy world and look outside your polluted window of thoughts.
Sonia David is an aspiring Counselling Psychologist pursing her post graduation in Psychology. She is a writer with a pinch of sarcasm and wit who loves writing about social and feminist issue. The ignorance and the insensitive attitude of people towards these issues motivate her and fire her up to act against the same, so she is passionate about writing. She has met many people, heard several stories and is a storyteller through her writing skills. She is also a Zentangle Artist as she finds it relaxing and soothing. She also loves travelling and someday she wishes to travel all around the country and help be a change in shifting the patriarchal mentality.