What does advertising stand to do? Sell an idea? Product? Brand? This can’t be so bad. But it’s what is used and how it’s used that makes advertising such a detriment to our society. Women have long been the focus for selling things. Tall and skinny, perfect hair and smooth skin — these are all what we’ve been told time and time again are what makes something desirable, from a bottle of perfume to a run on the beach. There’s no doubt this facade is see-through. We flip through the pages of magazines, turn the TV channel, scroll past an ad on Facebook, and know that what we see is “touched-up.” But we continue to remain brainwashed by this nonetheless. We make our future feel grim when we allow ourselves to believe we cannot meet these expectations set by our society.
Women have become objects. Big lips, thigh gaps, revealing clothing, and so much more are making young women the focus of sexual desires. These ideals are continuously making it difficult for women to walk down the streets by themselves safely. They are making it impossible to feel beautiful without a threat coming their way; without feeling like they’ll ever be enough.
Last year, a quarter of a million teens alone underwent cosmetic surgeries. What is this saying about the culture we have created for women?
This new, powerful campaign asks a very important question: Will you stand up?
It asks advertisers to understand the detriments of their actions, and to recognize how many consumers are simply sick of the way women are being portrayed. The project, called Women Not Objects, calls out the objectification of women in commercials, magazine spreads, and other forms of advertising, focusing on the harmful effects of unrealistic beauty standards. From the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge,” and the “thigh gap,” to advertisements depicting sexual assault and murder, it exposes the harsh reality of how advertisements are hurting mothers, daughters, friends, co-workers, ourselves, and the future. It even brings up the repeated occurrence of young men videotaping the rape of incapacitated women to show how these advertisements are translated into the world, creating a culture where violence against women is acceptable.
“Girls are growing up thinking that how they look is more important than how they feel, or who they are, and what they can do,” a woman in the video says. Let’s put an end to the mistreatment of women by constantly reminding advertisers that when you treat women like objects to sell, everyone loses.