5 thoughts on “Sexist Advertising – What If Roles Were Reversed?

  1. I agree with jmundstuk.

    I’m just getting so sick of people blaming advertising for everything. You take a few ads that are overly sexual or silly, put some completely unrelated statistics between them, and try to come up with some crazy conspiracy theory claiming that all advertising campaigns’ main goal is to demean women and make them feel bad about themselves when really, advertising’s main goals is-and always has been-to sell products. When one advertising technique no longer works, they switch to something else. They pander to the people, because they want to sell to the people.

    Many of the ads that were used in this video are trying to sell things to women. They are trying to appeal to women. And guess what? Women like to be sexy. So if they see an ad that features a sexy woman, they will probably want to be more like her, and make the connection that if they buy this product they will become some sort of a sex goddess. Men also respond well to seeing a sexy woman in advertising because it is suggesting that if they buy a product, they will attract beautiful women. Is that thinking flawed? Of course, but that’s the point of advertising, of course they want to entice you to buy their stuff. If they didn’t, what would the point in advertising be? But I do not buy into this idea that advertisements-which hardly anybody even looks at anymore, I mean, we do have remote controls now-shape and brainwash our entire culture.

    The ads reflect what appeals to society. They have no evil secret agenda. They are not trying to make any sort of point. They are simply trying to sell stuff. And guess what? Sex sells. Maybe it shouldn’t be so pornographic, I do agree with that, this is a little overboard. But you look at a lot of these ads, and it’s simply not true that they’re sexist. Most of these ads are fashion ads, and it is no secret that the fashion industry is run mainly be gay men (just a fact), and they sexualize men just as much as women as far as I’m concerned. It’s common for advertisements to sexualize both men and women, because, like I said, sex sells. Especially in fashion, because one of fashion’s main purposes is to make an individual more sexually attractive. Of course they put sexuality in their ads.

    But I’ve seen lots of ads sexualizing men, too. Most ads lately feature an extremely attractive couple half-naked in a very sexual, steamy, make out session, with the brand’s name at the bottom. It’s basically just presenting an image: If you wear this, you’ll be as cool as these two, and this might happen to you-basically, these jeans are sexy! That’s the basic subliminal suggestion (or atleast the way the brain processes it), they are trying to give the product an “image”, quite literally. I’ve also seen ads just featuring men-usually they’re extremely muscular and tan, with no shirt, their belt unbuckled and flies unzipped, saying something hilariously stupid and provocative, like, “Hey there, kitten.” Or a well-endowed man on a beach wearing tight shorts and sunglasses. But advertising campaigns do not get any guff for sexualizing men, just women, because, of course, it’s part of their evil sexist plan to brainwash society and reduce women to nothing but objects, right? It has nothing to do with selling products…

    This is just a ridiculous notion that advertising is sexist, or has some hidden agenda to demean women, or that it’s responsible for every problem in society. Really. It’s getting old now. These statistics are just speculation and pseudo-science, completely unrelated facts lined up to lead you to a totally exaggerated conclusion and a few select ads used to try to make the point. If you look at it all at once, of course you’ll get that impression. But it’s not showing the complete picture, and completely missing the point, that sex sells, and the entire point of advertising is to sell.

    Somebody did a great article on this that I read recently:
    http://www.fashionindustrynetwork.com/profiles/blogs/sex-sells-mediaanother

    Me, I like to see an artistic expression of the beauty of the human body in ads. I like beauty, I like the beauty of the world around us and the people in it, and I see no reason why we should not celebrate the beauty, the beauty of human beings, of sexuality, of aesthetic senses. It makes it interesting, like Greek art, in photographic form. And I like it when men and women are used alike. At some point, it stops being artistic and becomes vulgar and silly. And that is a line that has been crossed too often. I don’t want to see a woman wearing nothing but perfume, if I want to see completely naked men or women going at it I’ll look at porn. Might make me look, but that’s not going to make me want to buy anything. I want to see beautiful men and women in an interesting, artistic, tasteful scene, showing off the product. Something that hints at sexuality, but not fully exposing it, something provacative and dangerous; teasing, but mainly, something that portrays a personalization of the product-cool and sexy. Something that celebrates beauty and what the product is about. Because fashion is all about beauty and art, and the ad is meant to present the product.

    And I am really tired of seeing people blame this collective force “the media” for everything wrong in the world-yeah there are a lot of bad things out there, but you can’t generalize all advertising and all companies and media into a single group of people conspiring to brainwash the public with subliminal messages. You can say that some advertising is stupid and that some of the messages we see are bad, but to just villainize “the media” and blame it for all the problems in our culture is a little silly. I do not think that advertising is responsible for all the flaws of society. I do not think that it brainwashes us, unless you’re gullible enough to buy stuff you don’t need. And I do not think that it teaches sexism. I do think that the ads should be more modest and tasteful. I do like to see beauty in ads. But not vulgarity.

    And so I think this parody is kind of silly, because it’s really not that the media is trying to tell you what to think, because they could care less what you think about men or women’s gender roles, they only care what you think of the product. And like many already pointed out, most of the men in these are totally unattractive and nobody would wear short shorts that are that tiny and ridiculous-looking on them. These ads are stupid because they would never make you want to buy anything. Most of the silliness from this is on account of the men that were used, and it would look just as silly if they used equally unattractive women.

    I personally would like to see more ads that show the beauty of the male body, but not these.

    I wrote an article about the magazines and models, and the effect it has on our society if you should like to read it:
    Definition of Beauty: A Defense and Reprimand of the Fashion Industry and Those Who Criticize It-Regarding the Problems of Obesity, Anorexia, and Self Respect
    Read on mtgrl.wordpress.com

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