Sexist Ads

I’m not against ads that use sex to sell whatever useless product they’re pushing. It’s fine. I get it; sex sells. However, I totally hate ads that objectify women. There’s a huge difference between producing an advertisement that draws one’s attention by simply being sexy, and flat-out turning a woman into a commodity. The shittiest part is that for most people, it’s nearly impossible for them to distinguish between the two. Obviously, it’s especially sad for young, impressionable and still fairly uneducated girls. They risk thinking that it’s perfectly normal to grow up wanting breast implants, risque clothing, and outlandish makeup. The way ads affect their behavior is frightening.

I realize that the preceding paragraph is sort of cheese because these are things we know. We know that advertising is partly to blame for the self esteem problems girls face. We know that the way women are portrayed in the media is often unfair. We know that we’re largely desensitized to these images because we see them every day. But before you roll your eyes at me, keep one thing in mind: we accept these things. They’ve become the norm. Sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves of just what a deep-rooted problem this is.

Below the cut are ads that I personally find ridiculous. They’re laughable in way and pretty damn scary in another. Warning: some of them are NSFW-ish.

lingerie

Um, what? This is an ad for seamless lingerie. I’m not exactly sure how having a model pose nude and then photoshopping her nipples out translates to that, but OK. In my opinion, this is complete objectification and the worst part is that the ad’s target audience is women. This does not make me want to buy a bra, sorry.

axe

Here’s an ad for Axe shower gel or cologne or whatever that stuff is. It’s for their “Any Excuse To Get Dirty” campaign. Axe relies heavily on advertising, so you know a whole team of people got paid big bucks to come up with this. You’d think the end result would be better. The ad’s focal point is, big surprise, the woman’s chest. It’s also important to note how these ads tend to crop the model’s eyes out, thereby removing one of her main human characteristics and making her into more of an object than an actual person.

duncanquinn

I wasn’t sure what this ad was selling so I had to look it up. The answer is suits. Suits, people. I’m not sure that a man tugging on a woman’s submissive, seemingly lifeless and near-naked body by a rope (a Duncan Quinn necktie, perhaps?) conveys that.

puma

You know, us women aren’t just here to be extremely thin (with disproportionately sized breasts) and half-naked or to help you simulate an odd rape scene on the hood of a car; we’re also here to give blowjobs.

cellulite

Look at these BFFs, just hangin’ out, laughing, not worrying about their cellulite. Ugh. Ladies, I hope you know that when you’re flipping through the pages of this month’s Cosmo and you land on this gem, you should turn the page immediately. Go back to reading about his most dirty-licious fantasies or something. This crap is designed to MAKE you worry about your cellulite, not the other way around. Ad agencies work hard at creating an underlying need for their product so the consumer will buy it. Almost every woman has cellulite, it’s no biggie, let’s get over it already.

bmw

Here we have an extremely young-looking girl luring you in with her gaze and submissive pose. The caption says, “You know you’re not the first.” Ohh, guys, she’s not a virgin! So don’t take it easy on her. Really. You can do whatever you want to her, she’s used to it. Even if she looks like she might be 13. It’s cool. We can go drive our luxury vehicles when you’re done with her.

This is so frustrating.

Jezebel even tracked a few ads that involve ladies getting jizzed on.

I’d like to point out, if it for some reason wasn’t already obvious, that all these advertisements contain a certain discourse that reinforces stereotypical gender roles. Hypersexualized images of women define and set limitations on the concept of ‘beauty’; most women do not fit within these confines.

I could rant on but I’m starting to sound like a textbook so I’ll stop myself.

What do you think of these ads?
Any and all opinions allowed.

I’d like to start a discussion about it, assuming someone comments and all.

-Melissa

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Sexist Ads

  1. Isabelle

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any American Apparel ads. Don’t get me wrong, I like the store, but I’ve always fond the ads a little offensive. I mean, seeing a woman sprawled across a bed with an expression that screams “DO MEEE!!!” does not make me want to go out and buy a t-shirt.

    • badbangs

      i highly dislike american apparel (with the exception of their tri-blend t-shirts, which i could live in every day for the rest of my life). i agree with you in that a lot of their ads are offensive. i could have and should have posted a few of those.

      however, i wouldn’t say that all their ads offend me. like i said, there’s a difference between a sexy ad and a sexist one. admittedly, aa often crosses that line. you can browse every single one of their ads on their website, by the way. i just did that. anyway, whether the ads are sexist or not, they all sort of look the same, and i’m bored of it. i’d like to see aa take their ads in a different direction. i yawn at the sight of all their half-naked hipster girls.

      -mel

  2. Nicole

    I agree about the AA ads.. Worst one is the one that used to be displayed on the entrance of the Cours Mont Royal one.. The asian girl with her legs spread, and a nice thatch of pubic hair spilling over the sides. Classy isn’t it.

    But as for the ads here, I agree that it’s exloiting women and just shows how shovenistic and pig headed male advertising execs are.. I thought a lot of women had those jobs too?? So how does this crap still seem to spoil our favourite magazine pages and billboards. It gives guys the wrong idea, thinking that ‘oh maybe girls are just there for me to use and abuse’.. It’s disgusting and should be highly unacceptable. The only reason why sex sells is because men have made it sell. F**** pigs. Ugh that’s it for my rant of the day.

    • badbangs

      ohh yeah! didn’t they cover the pubes up? i can’t remember.

      speaking of aa, here’s what a most likely very fed up person did to one of their billboards in nyc:

      -mel

  3. Mj

    What is that Puma advert trying to achieve? Are they aiming at men to buy their wives/girlfriends puma’s clothing so they’ll go down on them? Or are women meant to want to buy their range so men will find them attractive?

    Also the girl’s clothing screams school girl, so whose parents after seeing that advert would allow their daughter to wear those clothes?

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