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Women in Media !!! What part of her are we selling ?

Updated on December 30, 2012

Better Camera == Bigger Boobs

As I was window shopping, eating, jogging and even studying today, I could not help but notice that 90% of all the ads have nothing to do with the products being advertised for. They all use female's sexuality to grab attention! Made me wonder if it was the product they are selling or the promotion of an unattainable airbrushed beauty where the less you wear, the more glamourous you look.

At first I thought the conservative part of me was just being uptight and I will not deny that the green-eyed monster was mocking my buried feminine side that somehow desired to have a diva pose. Hold your imagination right there, not even the greed-eyed monster would make me desire the -naked and overexposed babe- pose. After all, Pamela Anderson is not my definition for glamourous.

Unfortunately displaying sexy or even erotic ads does indeed attract more customers. And ultimately a lot would argue that having broad shouldered, narrow hipped beauties with/or highly endowed breasts on ads is rather a smart marketing technique. Hence the -or- because sometimes highly endowed breasts is all that you see in an ad.

However, some would argue that those ads are NOTHING but mere materialization of fantastic conjunction of nudity and art that uptight conservatives like me could not possibly appreciate.

But if sexual provocative ads is yet another form of art then why is it that we never see males in such positions. They are never integrated with alcohol or chocolate objects like women are in the following ads. It breaks my heart when women themselves become the objects marketers are trying to sell.

Even when males are abused in ads, their sexual organs are never the theme of the ad. That is not to say that I want the same form of abuse to happen to men. If anything that would just encourage marketing beasts to feed on objectifing human bodies.

Want to sell shoes, just put ladies in a vending machine !!!

You can see that the devil's advocate attitude did not last for long, especially not after seeing the ads that literally exploit females as objects. It is like marketing has been universally themed and the theme is “Degrading Women” .

I can totally see lectures under the titles of “The use of Breasts and Legs in Selling”, “Getting your products to drool guys” taught in marketing workshops or business companies.

Not only do commercials exploit women to sell products but they all seem to promote violence, harassment, rape, and in some cases gang rape.

In an old ad for Dolce and Gabana that has already been banned in Spain, a woman is displayed as she's being pulled by her wrists to the ground while a group of men look on. For more on Spain's position refer to

I couldn't even post some of American's Apparel ads for fear of being accused with posting child pornographic articles.

In a matter of fact, finding provocative ads didn't even require adding the keyword "provocative" or "offensive". All that I typed in was "women ads" in Google and the screen shot below shows the sad result.

Women lying on floor has become the norm in the marketing industry. So not only are ads committing public crimes, but people no longer recognize these crimes. Violence, passive and active harassment are literally disguising behind labels like "Females' Liberty", "Smart Marketing" and "Art".

The first image and also the largest displays yet another lady lying on the floor below a man who seems to carry 2 glasses in one hand and the advertised alcohol in the other. And I don't think it would take a rocket scientist to figure out that the man is in a superior position and that she is either vulnerable or indifferent. It can be inferred that she has no option but to have the drinks with him.

Now away from all this pessimism, the world still has good people. One of the ads displayed below is Dove's ad for the Real Beauty Campaign which in my personal opinion is big step towards ethical socially responsible marketing.

Finally, even if we were to forget about women rights or even human rights. We should at least give a damn about displaying rated images publicly in the streets. Uncensored images for young models are always shown in suggestive positions and unlike your TV where you get to control what you see, you have no control over what you or your children are exposed to from extremely large racy billboards like the ones below.

Though Calvin Klein's 5 stories ad shown below is rather old, newer billboards are not all that different. If anything, billboards are even racier nowadays.

Racy Ad
Racy Ad

My rant can go forever about objectifying, humiliating and offensive ads but I think you get the point. Those ads sell more than just products as they sell values to our daughters. And if I were to sum up a lady's mission being inferred from these ads in a statement it would be:

"To seduce and please more men by looking young, vulnerable, sexy, and unnaturally beautiful at all times. Fabric doesn't always serve you and none is even better."

And the values would be:

1- Vulnerability - use your sexual power instead of your brains

2- Speechlessness - impress others with your looks not words

3- Pleasing- please others using your image even if it meant putting your health in risk


Unfortunately objectification of women is not just exclusive to ads or billboards. It is a scary phenomena found in media in general. Be it songs, tv shows, video games, or online ads.

Please take in consideration that I do not view men as oppressors for most of these pictures were taken by choice. Besides due to a lot of factors including the sexualized culture, women themselves are viewing objectification as a form of empowerment.

In conclusion, I realize that this is a heated topic and a lot of you especially guys will have different point of views thus I am looking forward to read your comments.

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    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Bravo! We didn't fight for our right to be a significant person and not a chattel just to relinquish it for fashion. Dove has it right!

    • noorin profile image
      Author

      noorin 7 years ago from Canada

      Agreed !!! Dove indeed has it right ... it's about time we get a real beauty campaign and not a campaign that has descending beauty definitions. Other campaigns should go with the slogan "wear less clothes but more makeup" ...

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Noorin when I was in college I read the "ID" theory of Siegmund Freud which supposes that every human activity or need is based on his/her desire to fulfill sexual needs. at that time I didn't agree with it not even today, but whenever I see an ad like these I think about that theory.

    • noorin profile image
      Author

      noorin 7 years ago from Canada

      Gulnazahmad that is a very interesting theory. I will definitely be looking it up ...

    • profile image

      Rookie70 6 years ago

      Nice hub. This gives me an idea for my next hub.

    • noorin profile image
      Author

      noorin 6 years ago from Canada

      @Rockie, that's great =) It's pleasure 2 have inspired u ... Lemme know which one is it, can't wait to read it and see ur insight =)

    • profile image

      Salmoon Faiaz 5 years ago

      As salamu Alaikum,

      Dear Noorin, I've got acquainted to this hub through reading your article : "My favorite qur'anic verses.." . That really enlightened me . But when i've clicked this article : "Women in media..." , I had to take my eyes away or lower my gaze whwn I saw those obscene photos of Adds. These photos were to arouse a sexual feeling in me,(as I'm a male) but, Alhamdulillah, Allah saved me from further evil. I request you sister, please remove these pictures, not the article, The article was fine, logical and reasoning. Hope you would respond.

    • noorin profile image
      Author

      noorin 5 years ago from Canada

      As salamu Alaikum Salmoon,

      I appreciate your comment and thank you for pointing that out to me. The reason I had the images in there is because people are usually bombarded with such images everywhere via internet, magazines and even billboards sometimes. So I was trying to make a point. I try to avoid using any racy images in all my articles but with this one I thought I was making a point especially to those would wouldn't agree that women are objectified in media.

      However, I promise to take you advise in consideration, I will think about it, I realize that the likes of you wouldn't wanna look at such things but many others view this and its part of their daily norm. Anyhow, I shall think about it, even do istikhara and act accordingly !

      Thanks,

      Noorin

    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 4 years ago

      ASA Noorin,

      A very good hub and an excellent topic you have covered. It's interesting when people talk about freedom of expression and freedom and power to women etc and yet subjugate them as mere sex objects albeit under the pretense of freedom and desire to express ones beauty for money.

    • noorin profile image
      Author

      noorin 4 years ago from Canada

      W alaikm al salam Zubair,

      I guess its a sad a reality we live, unfortunately many of us never give such things second thoughts !

      Keep on stepping by,

      Noorin

    • faisalb87 profile image

      Muhammad Faisal 4 years ago from Pakistan

      Islam protects a woman from being a sexual object and it teaches Muslim women to wear hijaab.

    • noorin profile image
      Author

      noorin 4 years ago from Canada

      I agree Faisalb87, Islam as a religions, as a mindset lays rules that do protect both genders and treat them as equals in both responsibilities and rights.

      Unfortunately, this does not mean that Muslim individuals do not exploit women, whether its Muslim men who objectify other women or its Muslim females who allow the degradation of their gender, objectification and even rape continue to exist in all societies.

      Keep on stepping by :)

    • profile image

      Faraz 4 years ago

      Al-Zohaib's Fabric!

      The ad at the bottom of this page currently is using a women to promote the fabric which is even wrong.

      Now I get the point why's photography banned (haram) in Islam!

      What a religion Islam is! Alhamdolillah I'm a Muslim.

    • profile image

      Fahadikram94@yahoo.com 4 years ago

      you are absolutely right my dear....it is one of the major things that is spoiling our young generation.....you should write more articles ,conveying a perfect msg to women all over the world....ur articles may not stop all this but a gradual decrease shall occur.... INSHALLAH....stay blessed

    • noorin profile image
      Author

      noorin 4 years ago from Canada

      Thaanks Fahadikram94, your encouraging comment made my day. I haven't written in a while but I intend to write more soon. Keep in stepping by, looking forward for your comments.

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 2 years ago

      If your discovery was any revelation then this should really mess you up. 90 percent of all advertising is aimed at women. Do that little walk again and try to find an advertisement attempting to sell something to a man. I saw one after visiting the mall for three years. Us guys are not even on the radar and the proof is the horrible music they make us listen to everywhere. I wish you girls would make better choices sop I do not have to listen to the crap anymore. Then again if they target guys we already know what they are going to sell us. If I buy the truck every girl is going to want my ride and if I drink this beer it doubles my chance for a good time. Apparently they are selling a mid life crisis. What you really get is an over priced piece of crap vehicle with a faulty ignition and exploding airbag and beer that taste like water. Hey where are the girls at?

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