The average person is exposed to a remarkable amount of advertisements a day. These advertisements usually have a similar pattern. Women are the center of attention. She is objectified as a sex symbol, usually half clothed with perfectly thin bodies. Even when the product doesn’t demand anything of the nature. These advertisements play on men’s attraction and female’s insecurities. She is often childlike, young. She is sometimes maternal and waiting on men. As the object of desire for the male, she is seductive.
The majority of women in advertisements are a size 0, white with light colored hair. When ethnic women are in ads for the majority of the time their hair is lightened, straightened, and still a size 0.
The distorted images that are in advertisements are very influencing. They influence our perceptions and thought processes. Women in society try to emulate these images while they are unattainable. Most models today are smaller than 95% of the population. More and more women have negative feelings about their body images. They yearn for the size 0 body they see in these ads.
Are clothing companies as successful using thin models as they would be if they use a model that more represents the average population?
On the left is a model wearing an outfit. On the right is a reality TV star who was brave enough to purchase the outfit. I would say this clothing company would be more successful with the woman on the right selling the outfit. I wouldn’t purchase the outfit on the left. On the right however, I might just consider it. Hence with advertisements hurting women in society, are the companies in a way hurting themselves?
Within the last couple of years Nike has done an ad campaign attempting to empower women. The ad picks a part of the female anatomy that women usually hate and continues to tell a story about the body part. The ads feature “I Have Thunder Thighs”, “My Legs Were Once Two Hairy Sticks”, “My Knees are Tomboys”, “My Shoulders Aren’t Dainty”, “My Butt is Big”, and “My Hips Return to Puberty”. These ads are a small victory in a huge war. There should be more advertisements that are empowering women instead of the constant sexualization and objectification.