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By Jennifer Y.

For as long as anyone could remember, sexism has been the most effective way of advertisement. “Sex sells”, two words that have brought a billion dollar industry to the world. This concept is something everyone craves/desires. We can’t ignore it, so instead, we’ve learned to believe what’s being sold is true and fabulous. Women have learned to adapt to the idea of if you buy or do something, you will look like the scrawny, gorgeous supermodel advertising the product, which is what has turned society into what it is today.

Throughout my twenty years of living, never have I been upset about sexism in campaigns, until now. Sure, I think sex sells, but the fact that I am now an educated young adult, I can see the ignorance in a sexist ad. These advertisements that usually take months of production and involve maybe a hundred people, have turned our society into thinking looking glamorous comes naturally. What happened to being au natural? Have we all turned into superficial citizens?

The moment I turn on the TV, open up a magazine, or go on the computer, there is an advertisement on how much more “beautiful” I would look if I tried this fabulous product. I have been nit picking on all the things I hate about my body or face because of these advertisements. Feminspire.com published an article, "Sexism Consumes the World of Advertising" which depicted the world of advertising, stating "Adverts telling us to look younger, be skinnier, have shinier hair, have less hair in other places, cook more for our families, clean more, smell nicer, it never ends." It never ends because there is always something else women can improve on their bodies.

In May 2013, the Huffington Post had published an article regarding a documentary which questioned "How would ads look... if gender roles were reversed?" One of the creators of this project, Julie Gerstein stated, "When you attempt to replace female bodies with male bodies you don’t really objectify men in the same way...the tropes of female body-as-prop are so well-worn, such a part of our cultural landscape, that simply changing up the bodies in the images isn’t enough."

In my opinion, 70% of advertisements target women more than men. I conclude that because advertisers believe that women are probably influenced more “easily” than men. This is true because women are usually portrayed as a sex symbol, while men are portrayed as this powerful, macho man. Women will think about what they see or hear constantly until they either think they need whatever is being advertised, or they just debate what’s being sold in the advertisement with their friends.

Laura Stampler from Businessinsider.com had published an article which showed advertisements from the '50s and '60s, which had proved nothing has changed. Ads were sexist then, and still are. For example, there was an advertisement for the clothing company "Leggs" which showed a mans legs stomping over a woman's head, and there has recently been an advertisement for Valentino which shows an attractive woman in a red dress being stomped on by a man. This shows how nothing has changed from decades ago.

In conclusion, I have hope that someday, these sexist advertisements will make a 360-degree turn, and change from being so fascinated with the way a woman looks, to embracing true beauty and aging. It’s crucial for society to know that beautiful isn’t skinny, beautiful is what you carry with you and how one feels on the inside. I hope to see more advertisements empowering women instead of disabling them.  


Works Cited

Milford, Chiara. "Sexism Consumes the World of Advertising." Feminspire. N.p., Dec. 2012. Web. 06 June 2013.

Johnson, Margaret Wheeler. "Gender Role Reversal." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 13 May 2013. Web. 01 June 2013.

Stampler, Laura. "These Modern Ads Are Even More Sexist Than Their 'Mad Men' Era Counterparts." Business Insider. N.p., 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 June 2013.