Objectification & The Media: Blurred Lines of Advertisement

I don’t write these types of post. So, please bear with me for a few minutes. My young sister showed me a video yesterday. In this video, a group of teenagers watch the music video for the song, Blurred Lines.

I know the arguments about the “Blurred Lines” video are exhausted. However, I felt compelled to write after watching these kids react to the video and add to the conversation. Firstly, I would like to praise the creators of  “TheFineBros” for encouraging young people to become aware/conscious of the messages in the media.  I was able to find many interesting videos on their Youtube channel.  Secondly, the Blurred Lines song is catchy, but I’m not a fan of the song or video. Similarly, I do not intent to demean the video neither defend it. In fact, this post has nothing to do with the song or the video. My intention is to highlight the “blurred lines” of female and male objectification in the media. How do we decide which images right for ? How do they make us feel and/or react? 

Yes, I believe we can use the “blurred lines” phrase to describe the role of women in media advertisement.

Here’s where things get complicated.

This      and  this   

Can you tell the difference? While these two images are representing only one type of body image, these images have different connotations. The victoria secret ad sells sexiness, which seems fitting for a store that sells underwear to women. However, the conflict arrives when these images are overly photoshop, creating unrealistic expectations for men and women. This happens often. I also take issue with the lack of diversity in the fashion world.

The second picture is a problem.  Well, I don’t understand what that’s selling.

In some instances,  the images in certain advertisement seem to glorify (for lack of a better word) violence against women.

Dolce & Gabbana ad.

The picture has a BDSM feel in its composition. The female model seems forced into a vulnerable position. All four men desire the same woman, while one man pins the woman down in what appears is against her will. Granted, my problem is not BDSM. My problem is with the “against her will” emotion this image evokes. We see these types of imagines every day on television, on billboards, and shopping malls. We see it so often that we might become uncaring about how people perceive these images, especially children.

American Apparel is known for using provocative pictures for advertisement. The positions of the models are too suggestive for me to focus on the clothes alone. Am I supposed to ignore he’s holding her legs like that? Are these pictures selling sex or clothes?

These types of ads make me feel a little devalued. No, this is not me feeling victimized. I’m making an informed comment, based on observation and research. In media advertisement, the body of a woman often equals her value. If the female body fits the standards of beauty, then the body becomes more  profitable/valuable. Ultimately, that is the message women and men everywhere receive.

Let me be fair. It’s not as popular, but men’s bodies are also objectified in the media. The response is usually the same. These images raise unrealistic expectations about how women’s and men’s bodies should look like and how they should behave according to their sex.

 

I hope I’m making sense here. The objectification of bodies in the media is hardly a secret. Nonetheless, the discussion  is still relevant. If we ignore the discussion, then nothing will change. We might become desensitized to these images and how we see them… The discussion about it will continue. These images set a standard for young boys and girls. It’s the reason posts like this one continue to exist. I would love to hear your thoughts on their matter.

Thanks for reading.

Best,

Steph

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2 thoughts on “Objectification & The Media: Blurred Lines of Advertisement

  1. Very interesting post, and I completely agree. Why can’t clothing lines just sell…umm…CLOTHES, as opposed to selling sex. I don’t buy an item of clothing based on how ‘sexy’ the model looks while wearing it. It’s a shame that big corporations feel that they can’t sell their items based on the item alone, they have to promote it in this raunchy way.

    1. Thanks for reading,

      This is something that has been on my mind for a while. I didn’t want to post it, but I figured that commenting on it wasn’t so bad. Also, most people seem to think that women can control whether they are objectified or not. It’s my experience that this is not the case.

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