Objectification of Women in Advertising

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Objectification of Women in Advertising:

Objectification of Women in Advertising By: Annie Galvin


Summary Objectifying women in advertising has gotten out of hand. Women are not objects; they are humans. They are more important than an object and deserve to be viewed as a person, not a thing. In advertisements today, companies are objectifying women to appeal to the male audience and to sell a product, since sex sells. However, this is not an ethical or fair portrayal of women. With that being said, I do not agree with the objectification of women in advertising and I think this is something that needs to change.

Objectification of Women:

Objectification of Women Companies create ads that will help make their product sell, which is why they often choose women Advertisements often portray women in different roles, whether they are a housewife, a decorative element, a sex object or even someone dependent on a man Women in advertisements have been viewed and used solely as objects to get a product to sell- this is WRONG!! According to the Stankiewicz & Rosselli Study, 1 out of 2 advertisements that featured women portrayed them as sex objects AND men’s, women’s fashion, and female adolescent magazines were more likely to portray women as sex objects and as victims than news and business, special interest, or women’s non-fashion magazines


Problems Women are are judged on their looks and sexuality It makes women feel powerless, taken advantage of and insignificant in society Helps justify male sexual violence against women Creates emotional and physical pressure to be perfect and obtain the un-obtainable image of women displayed in advertising Women in advertising are seen as only useful for certain things, such as sex, cleaning, cooking, etc.

Existing Guidelines:

Existing Guidelines The most controversial of stereotypes is that of women & failing to recognize the changing role of women in our society Advertisers often depict women being preoccupied with beauty, household duties and motherhood or show them as decorative objects or sexually provocative figures Very few ads recognize the diverse roles of women in society Males are generally shown as knowledgeable, active and aggressive Feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center argue against these types of advertisements & do not support them


Solutions Do not support brands that use women as objects to sell their products Petition against or report media outlets that allow and support sexualized imagery of women and girls Use social media to spread awareness about the sexualization of girls and women Advertising agencies should start creating ads displaying women in real, empowering roles that are positive and inspiring

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conclusion To show how much women are used in advertising They are not shown in positive roles- they are shown in roles that objectify them in order to sell products Brands that create ads featuring women in these ways, need to get less support and come up with new ads that don’t objectify women Women deserve to be seen for who they truly are. They should not have to “fake it” for advertising and take on disingenuous roles that misrepresent them


Sources Cronin, A.M. (2005). Advertising and Consumer Citizenship: Gender, Images and Rights . Taylor & Francis. Frith , K.T., B, M. (2010). Advertising and Societies: Global Issues. Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated. Knight, Christina. (2013). Mad Women: A Herstory of Advertising. Olika Publishing House Ltd. Lanis , K., & Covell , K. (1995). Images of Women in Advertisements: Effects on Attitudes Related to Sexual Aggression. Sex Roles, 32, 639-649. MacKay, N.J., & Covell , K. (1997). The Impact of Women in Advertisements on Attitudes Toward Women. Sex Roles, 36, 573-583. Stankiewicz, J.M., & Rosselli, F. (2008). Women as Sex Objects and Victims in Print Advertisements. Sex Roles, 58, 579-589.

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