Gender Disparities and representations of Female Sexuality in Food Advertisements

by Chase

“I’d let you peak, but I don’t deliver what you’re hungry for.” These are the words of a cartoon woman in a delivery service advertisement. The advertisement is pasted to the ceiling of the bus I take home. The woman’s hair is long and blond, her eyes big and framed with dark lashes, her lips form a plush half smile, and she sports a short red dress that she hikes up to her hip. She stands next to a picture of a pizza and a foot-long sub. I take note, not because this depiction of a woman is unusual, but because of the advertisement’s intrusion into my daily commute. Advertisements such as this have become normative in American media and consequently they often go unnoticed. They compose a repertoire of images depicting half naked women next to the product their sexuality is intended to sell: food.

The fast food chain Carls Jr. markets their burgers with women washing cars simultaneously chomping down on a double cheeseburger, sauce dripping in places that they think deserves a close up. It is said that sex sells, but these food advertisements sell more than a product. They sell ideas. Food becomes a symbol of pleasure when it is placed next a hyper-sexualized woman. Women’s sexuality is depicted on the same plane as a cheap sub or a greasy pizza. The woman appears ready to be consumed and the result is a less than human representation.

To say that mass media’s representations of women speak for the entirety of American culture would overestimate their power, however their reoccurrence shows acceptance of their practices. The scrutiny of contemporary Feminist Theory[1] questions America’s acceptance of practices that sell women’s sexuality next to the five-dollar foot-long. It underscores the advertisements detrimental effects as part of a larger system of inequality. Though the effect of these advertisements is not a causative one, I argue that images depicting women as objects of pleasure, next to food products waiting to be consumed, feeds into a culture of acceptance for gender inequality. This inequality is perpetuated in pay disparities, in the prominence of violence against women in American society, and in every other realm where women are not seen as fully human. They are evidence of the gender hierarchies in American society.

American society (women included) continues this hegemonic cycle while simultaneously challenging it. Anthropological Practice Theory[2] questions how these advertisements have come to be seen as normal in everyday life. Their representations of women are accepted and supported by continued consumer support of their products. They are also challenged. For example people are “cutting the Carl’s” in a counter campaign that argues, “women are more than meat.”[3] Women’s dehumanization in food advertisements continues because of consumer participation and is simultaneously challenged by consumers choosing to boycott their products.

Food advertisements are visual representations of American practices that reinforce gender hierarchies. The normalcy of these practices in daily life shows acceptance of them, their rejection by many members of American society challenges their reinforcement of gender inequalities.

[1] Lecture, Professor Carole McGranahan, ANTH 2100 Frontiers of Cultural Anthropology, 8 October 2014.

[2] Lecture, Professor Carole McGranahan, ANTH 2100 Frontiers of Cultural Anthropology, 6 October 2014.

[3] http://www.beautyredefined.net/cut-the-carls/, accessed the 9th of October, 2014.

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38 Responses to Gender Disparities and representations of Female Sexuality in Food Advertisements

  1. Wow! I want to get you on a new bus! I stopped watching TV, but I cannot even get away from this: pandora adds, spam emails, newspaper advertisements, pop-ups, and several other ways media invades our lives. Meaning if media is intruding into every vain of our existence, so is the perpetuation of the dehumanization of women. I really appreciate your focus on this topic, because I think this country has a long way to go before we can actually have the right to tell another country they are oppressing their women. I think the images we see, are also related to the heterosexual and consumeristic american dream: big house, big car, nice grill, bottle of beer in one hand and trophy wife in the other. All things that are associated with good use of your money.

  2. Anna Wood says:

    Jumping off of what Maddie said above, I think we can look at all types of ads to see what other gendered stereotypes are being placed on men and women. While women are definitely being objectified and dehumanized on many commercial avenues, I think a really important part of Feminist Theory is looking at how the idea of masculinity is constructed. This blog post reminded me of the masculinity-problem in US culture because it deals with the same unrealistic and sometimes offensive portrayal. While a man driving a truck or hiking the Rockies in an advertisement doesn’t at first seem as degrading as a woman in a short skirt selling pizza and sandwiches, it keeps up our social construction of what a man is supposed to be. As we discussed in class, sexuality and gender are very complicated topics, and there are many people who fall outside the norm of what is “manly.” I suppose this is another example of pushing back against the hegemonic system. While men are supposed to be big and strong and important, there are many who want to embrace what our society would deem their “feminine side.” I’m definitely getting carried away with this topic, this post simply reminded me of the other side of gendered advertising.

  3. I really liked your essay. Mainly, I liked how you talked about how advertisements have become such a huge part of our daily lives that we barely even notice them. I found it interesting that when you actually did look into it further you realized that it had a sexual element to it. This got me thinking, do the people who make these ads expect you to look a t it that much into detail or do they just expect you to catch a glimpse of the food and the beautiful woman, both which look appetizing, leaving you an image that will stick in your mind, the hot girl accompanied by the food. What you really want is the girl, or to be the girl, but in a way the food still stays a part of the image in your head. One thing that I disagree with though is what Anna said. I disagree with what you said about how women are dehumanized in these ads. I guess I can only see this from a male point of view, so it will be nearly impossible to analyze this from a feminist perspective. That being said, I see these ads as almost honoring women. I think about part of feminism is realizing that it is simply a part of life that women are objectified in ads. Although it seems wrong to objectify these women, I think it is just an inevitable reality of our capitalist culture. However, I think most women would rather be objectified in ads then to have to cover their faces and be accompanied by a man in public. This is not to say that our culture is better or worse than any other, but I think given the way our culture is, it is impossible to avoid it.

    • Kirsten Jaqua says:

      I disagree. With respect, of course, I don’t mean to sound rude or unkind in what I say here, but I thoroughly believe as Anna and ‘Chase’ said that women are dehumanized in these ads. In the words of ‘Chase’s essay, “The woman appears ready to be consumed and the result is a less than human representation.” If you want proof of the ‘dehumanization’ of women, see the following ads:

      http://jordim1.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/screen-shot-2013-09-03-at-5-39-25-pm.png?w=300&h=219
      It’s an advertisement method which works on the principle of ‘Pavlov’s bell’: the idea that you associate something you already know to be appealing (i.e. hot/beautiful women) with the arbitrary thing you want to generate a positive response in the viewer (the food/object/etc. you want to sell). The advertisement companies are not interested in the morality of this issue–whether or not it is beneficial or detrimental to the societal view of women. They merely want their product to sell.

      I don’t see any way in which these ads honor women, and I can list several reasons why I think they are not only not HONORING but also DEGRADING women.

      First, I take it that you believe the ad honors women, because it raises up respect for their beauty. This is a completely false assumption. The ad presents an idealized woman–a woman whose body has been photoshopped so it has no flaws and does not even have pores. These women look like they’re made of plastic. Their bodily proportions are unrealistic–legs and neck too long, waist too skinny, breasts and backsides too large. Overall, the image of the woman in advertisements makes real women feel inadequate and often fat or ugly when they are in reality none of the above.

      Second, women are portrayed as objectified items of desire alongside food. They are not thinking, feeling, rational beings who deserve to be respected. They are an object of male appetite, just as the ‘cheap sub and greasy pizza’.

      Furthermore, I don’t think it is ‘simply part of life’ that women are objectified in ads. It’s a behavior that needs to stop. I don’t think you would say it’s ‘simply part of life’ that homosexuals are marginalized and/or abused. Homophobia and racism were both ‘realities’ of the century preceding ours, and we made a concerted movement to change these ‘realities’ by changing the discourse and expressing how unacceptable this kind of treatment is. Advertisement promotes inappropriate views and treatments of women for the sake of lining someone’s pocketbook.

      These are realities which can and will be changed, but having a view that they are ‘simply part of life’ is exactly the wrong kind of view. If everyone–ESPECIALLY men–would communicate openly and strongly how innapropriate these ads are and boycott them, things would change. But if you take the attitude that ‘boys will be boys’ and throw up your hands, then yes. You’re right. It won’t change.

      • Ian McClain says:

        I think women are often objectified in ads and not given the respect they deserve. However, I also think that our society has become too rigid on acceptance of sex and human bodies. Sex and even the anatomy of males and females have become a taboo, or just overall uncomfortable topic in many places. In the context of commercials comparing women to hamburgers or whatever this is obviously inappropriate, however, I would argue that using male and female bodies in advertisements does not always have to be degrading towards one sex. For example, I don’t find the the coke advertisement you posted as degrading to women. Sure, the women is naked but how is that “dehumanizing?” Is it because her “perfect” proportions are degrading towards other women? If she were larger would this then be more appropriate? Would you find an art piece depicting a naked women as objectifying and inappropriate? I agree that advertisements like this are mostly one sided and it would be rare to see the back side of the naked male, which does reflect gender inequality. However, I do not believe there is anything inherently degrading or dehumanizing about advertisements that tastefully capture an audiences attention with a natural curiosity.

      • Lexi Eagle says:

        Ian-
        The reason the Coke ad is dehumanizing is not simply that she is naked or that her “perfect” body is shaming other women. Like Kirsten articulated, the woman in the Coke ad is depicted as an object, and – going beyond that – as an object specifically intended to be consumed. I think Kirsten is spot on with her analysis here.

    • I don’t think its impossible for a male to use feminist anthropology. It wouldn’t be a theory taught in universities, or by my male T.A., if it were impossible. Also, I like your critique about capitalist culture.

      • Kirsten Jaqua says:

        Ian, the body proportions are one thing. I agree, the society may be too rigid–or perhaps prudish is the word–regarding sex and anatomy. However, the photoshopped ads you see portray women not as they are but in fact in unrealistic and/or unhealthy proportions. A lot of people would be straight up sickly or weak if their bodies were that skinny.

        But what is dehumanizing in that kind of portrayal of women is that the woman is literally equated to a food-item. As I said before, she’s an object of appetite–not a human being whose rights and wishes should be respected.

    • Lexi Eagle says:

      Second that, Kirsten! The objectification of women is absolutely avoidable; it is a cultural construction that is perpetuated when people accept it as an unavoidable reality, rather than challenging themselves and each other to recognize and push back against sexist practices.

      The issue with advertisements like the ones examined in the essay and the ones posted below is that they encourage viewing women as objects. Perhaps not literal objects like the coke bottle ad Kirsten shared, but objects nonetheless. Advertisements that portray women as exclusively sexual (like the Carls, Jr. ad, for example), do not “honor” women. They construct women as items for fulfilling (mostly) male sexual desire, as receptacles for dominant sexualities; they inform women that objectifying and hypersexualizing themselves will make them valuable and desirable.

      Also, to address your comments on feminist theory, Cameron: men can absolutely be feminists! (I mean this to sound encouraging, not rude or condescending.) You don’t need to be a woman to understand feminist theory, but it does require that you take a critical look at your social status and the cultural conventions that built that status. I challenge you to check your privilege and look for forms of structural violence around you. Halloweekend will be a good opportunity, I promise.

    • Lexi Eagle says:

      Also, your aside about women having to “cover their faces and be accompanied by a man in public” was extremely insensitive, especially considering we just analyzed a ethnography about Bedouin women’s veiling practices.

  4. Andrew Sullivan says:

    As the old adage goes “sex sells.” It’s a shame that in our modern age this belief is still held. My biggest problem with this is that most advertisements are derogatory to the female. Outside of eliminating these advertisements completely the best we could hope for is to use men in more advertisements like the ones you describe. I know there are some that exist but these advertisements are vastly outnumbered by one featuring females.

  5. Juliana says:

    You really touched on a serious issue that we face in modern America. Women are constantly objectified as a contribution to the immense emphasis and importance of consumerism. Women are used as a tool to make sure that products do not become irrelevant and so marketers do not lose the big bucks. It is unfortunate that, as Andrew mentioned, sex sells…but it is even sadder that our society is uncreative enough to resort to the “sex sells” ideal in all walks of advertisement. There are better ideas–let’s get them rolling please.

  6. Having taken the same bus, I am so happy that some attention has been called to that advertisement. It is ridiculous that women’s bodies are commodified on the same level as delivery food. It is disgusting and very offensive! I was particularly interested in that advertisement because it is produced by Hungry Buffs. It is especially crucial that we hold a company (that has a clear association with the University…) to a higher standard and protest these representations of women.

  7. Angela Gianficaro says:

    I agree with your essay completely as well as Carley’s comment above me. I also am a passenger on that bus multiple times a day every day of the week. It’s almost impossible to miss the ad, and the first time I saw it I was shocked. I was confused on how a popular fast food delivery service used by almost everyone I know was allowed to use such a suggestive ad. It was at that moment when I realized that this message of over-sexualizing women in advertisements is seen everywhere, especial for fast-food chains and restaurants. I am very glad I’m not the only one who saw a complete problem with this.

  8. This is a really thoughtful and well-written essay. I definitely agree with the points that you make, especially about women being framed in advertising as basically consumable products. It’s interesting that this sort of advertising appears for all sorts of products, even those intended for both sexes. I mean, the bus advertisement (which I also see almost every day) is for a company which isn’t specific to one gender. Yet so many food and drink ads have this so-called “manly” vibe that seems to rest on objectifying women. Beer ads are the worst, though Carl’s Jr could certainly compete. It’s so commonplace that, as people have said above, we don’t usually question it in our everyday lives. It’s a shame, since food can be so great and there are plenty of ways to sell it without using sex. Food ads are definitely something we can change for the better.

  9. Maddie Wisell says:

    I remember reading an article about how women would be placed in advertisements to make the thing being sold more appealing. That was the point of placing a “sexy” woman in the advertisement; it made the buyer want it more because it seemed pleasurable and appealing. Having a sexy woman in an advertisement has become so common that many people don’t even notice them anymore, and they don’t even give a second glance to a woman that is pretty much naked. In the past there would have been shock and people would probably have tried to take it down if they saw advertisements like the ones we have today. This needs to be brought to light with all of the recent news on feminism and human trafficking. These advertisements objectify women, and tells the world that it’s okay, women are there to be taken because they’re nothing more than objects. If you think about it women are what are always being objectified. The majority of ads will have a sexy woman in them, and just look at magazine covers. Both men and women’s magazines usually have women on their covers because they sell. Many people would not want to buy something that a man was trying to sell. I really enjoyed this article, and thought it was well written with something that people could become more knowledgable about.

  10. Stephanie Grossart says:

    These types of sexually driven advertisements are so normal to me that I don’t even notice them anymore. If I do I don’t see anything weird or wrong about it. I probably should but I don’t. The fact is is that sex sells and its the easiest way to sell an item that is marketed towards men. After reading this blog post I realize that these advertisements are more demeaning than I originally thought. Especially the comparison of a sexualized woman next to a five dollar footlong. As if to say we are worth the same amount of money. That we can be bought all together. It is distasteful and wrong. I know see that these advertisements do participate in continuing gender inequality and gender hierarchies.

  11. Kelsey Spalding says:

    I think the objectification of women in food advertising was a bold move to choose for your essay. This is one of the most highly contested issues effecting the advertising industry today. The old adage sex sells seems to have been taken to another level in the last decade, as we are constantly bombarded by images of beautiful women with products that people want to sell. What an interesting culture we live in that equivocates coke a cola to a women’s naked body, two very unrelated things. I think I am outside the norm of this issue being a women, I see these ads and honestly I think they are kind of funny. That may be not very anthropological or scientific but seeing a girl sitting on a beach eating a Carl’s Jr hamburger is a bit ludicrous, and absurd. What a terrible beach food. I agree that in media that women are objectified and exploited but the exploitation stops when women take an actual stand against it. Its easy to sit back and criticize these things but obviously these campaigns work because people keep doing them. If you want to be respected then conduct yourself in a respectful manner and as a consumer demand change in advertising. There have been studies that these adds have adverse effects on teenage girls and their self esteem, but then who does the blame lie on? The advertisers, our culture, or parents who have not instilled enough self confidence in their daughters and believe that their body is their only worthwhile asset. Advertisers exploit norms that already exist, just a thought. But nice essay and interesting topic!

  12. Taylor Hill says:

    This is a very interesting article. Maybe I just haven’t paid attention, but I have not seen this add or the coke add posted above in another comment. There are several other categories of items that are advertised by suggestive commercials, photos, and language, but I have never heard of fast food chains doing so. Like Stephanie said, it may be because they are so familiar to me now that I just don’t notice anymore, which is sad. This essay really made me take a step back and think about all of the things that I see on a daily basis that objectify women and sexualize advertisements. Great job on bringing up a very prevalent issue!

  13. Logan Arlen says:

    Having seen the advertisement you refer to in your intro I can say I felt a similar feeling of uneasiness. Not just because it was blatantly attempting to associated food with sex, but with a sexualized cartoon. It feels very weird that companies these days try to sell their product through these means and says a lot about how far this using sex to sell products has come.

  14. Helen says:

    I think it is very useful to use feminist anthropolgy to look at this phenomenon. When I first saw these kind of adds as a little kid, I didn’t really think they made sense. It didn’t make sense to think of sex and food in the same arena. However, through feminist anthropology, we can look at this practice as reinforcing gender roles, encouraging woman to present themselves as sexualized beings. However, you cannot argue that this advertisement campaign is not successful. Also, that this phenomenon is beggining to be used both ways. For example, the Kraft salad dressing commercials feature sexualized men who most woman would find very attractive. I believe the start of using sexuality to sell products originated in the perfume industry. All though I find it uncomfortable at times, it is a very successful advertising technique. For me, as long as woman and men are featured in the same light, I do not take offense.

  15. Camille says:

    Brilliantly written article. I very much agree with the fact that advertisements with women in the media today (especially those advertisements marketing food and women) have been ‘pushed to the edge.’ It is very distasteful and misrepresenting women in a negative way that is harming our younger generations (especially targeting young girls). Although, I can also agree that sexuality and the acceptance of sex and the human body in mainstream American society has become taboo, (inappropriate for that matter), which is certainly wrong. If you look at many other societies, do they have as many body image issues as we do? As high of rates of Anorexia or obesity? No. Our society has defined sexuality as something that needs to be hidden, or not mentioned because it is “too taboo.” The documentary film, Misrepresentation, is a wonderful example of how women have negatively been miss represented in America, and ultimately ‘paying the price’ through inequalities that are sometimes unseen. Never the less, It is very true that these companies’ advertisements have taken it way too far with selling food and objectifying women which is having the most negative, detrimental effects to women, men and our younger generations.

  16. Michaela Cavanagh says:

    It so nice for a someone to write an essay on this! It blows my mind how companies are still able to get away with these types of advertisements! I also want to mention that girls love to eat too and always love an advertisement for a burger but do companies even think we don’t really want to see a have naked girl next to food? In my eyes its just strange when I see these kinds of advertisements. Hopefully well see a drastic change in years to come!

  17. Ben Sardinsky says:

    I want to point out that I’ve seen it written several times that, “I’m a male, so I guess I can’t really understand feminism, but…”. This approach doesn’t denote a proper understanding of what feminism is. Feminism is a theory, it is a theoretical framework that analyzes society on the basis that different genders experience the world differently. As a male I have no deficiency in understanding feminism compared to a woman because it is not actually an idea specific to women. As a man I have similar,if generally privileged, expectations pressured on by society. So on both an intellectual and experiential level, being a male is no detriment to understanding feminism.

    Several others disagree with the idea that showcasing women and food next to each other symbolizes women as a consumable item. I argue that this is not the case (ie for the argument of the author, and posit that the bath of sexualized female images we experience has desensitized us as a society towards its meaning. As an example, try watching this and see if the food items seem as appetizing (it’s hilarious too) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SrpARP_M0o

  18. Mariah Stoneman says:

    I’m glad this article brought to attention the overload of women being used as methods of desire in advertisement. All over the country this happens and is overlooked because it is so normal. Its been going on for years. On this particular advertisement Chase presents, do the advertisers intentionally put the woman in the ad to dehumanize her? I think they may have unintentionally dehumanized the woman in the food advertisement. Because it is the normal, i do not think we can blame advertisement. Advertising gives the public what they want in order to benefit as a result. Yes, it is dehumanizing but our society is more responsible for responding positively rather than “boycotting” like chase said.

  19. Chase says:

    These comments are all really great and some of them are an awesome challenge for me to dive even deeper into this topic.
    I do agree that men are limited by media’s representations of them. I think that men face a very different kind of societal limitation than women; it is the oppression of full expression of emotion and limitations in the role that is socially acceptable for them to play in our society. Furthermore, because they are in a position of higher privilege, their limitations might even be harder to realize.
    Women face a very different kind of oppression than that of men, however. They face a structural oppression as well as devaluation through media. A woman meets limitations in a society where she is represented as inferior. Limitations in her ability to achieve certain types of success are a result of the way she is viewed. I argue that gender disparities result in structural limitations placed on a woman by the society that views her as lesser. Women and men still do not receive equal pay when performing the same job. Men fill 362 seats in congress and women fill 76. In the senate there are 17 women and 83 men. The U.S. still has not had a woman president. These are examples of what I mean by structural limitations. Though men are represented in limiting roles in advertising, they have much more ascribed agency due to their positioning of power in our society. This allows them to choose the role they wish to fulfill, whether it be a homemaker or a congressman. That choice is not given as freely to women.
    Ian also posed a very important question asking, “Is it because her “perfect” proportions are degrading towards other women? If she were larger would this then be more appropriate?” This brings up another problem with advertising, the issue of the types of bodies that are represented. Why is it that when we see these advertisements they are typically of young, white, women, with a slim figure and perfect complexion? And how does our culture shape the way one views their own and other’s bodies? I could discuss the problems with anorexia and teens in the United States, or the skin whitening creams that are found around the world, or the aisles upon aisles of anti aging products at the grocery store to make up an argument against such advertisements. They are all a result of problematic representations of the “perfect” female body. Through media and other mediums, messages of perfection seep into women’s lives every day. This occurs disproportionately to men and reoccurs again and again. I believe, that regardless of body shape, skin color, or age, a representation of a human being that is exploitive and limiting, truly is degrading. After all, the concept of beauty and of what is tasteful is a matter of perspective.

  20. Laura Graham says:

    Going off of your topic I also think its really weird the way food itself is advertised. They still manage to sexualize it even in the advertisements without women. This is a better route to take when advertising food because you aren’t objectifying a human being for the sole purpose of increasing your profits, but its still very strange to me.

    A lot of foods are shown up close, glistening with water droplets in much the same way Kate Upton might be shown wearing a bikini. They film the tomatoes, lettuce, onions, etc falling on to the burger in slow motion just like Pam Anderson in Baywatch, running down the beach in slow mo. I can’t help but wonder if the fact that we have made the idea consuming fast-food burgers so close to the idea of sex is part of the reason we have such a problem with obesity in the US.

  21. Alex S. says:

    Great topic! It may also be worth noting to further the argument that females are more so objectified and degraded within society, food advertisement involving male figures is in a positive light. Male celebrities or athletes are more often than not displayed on food advertisements IF there is a male in a food advertisement. You hardly ever see a male shirtless and being objectified for food advertisement, but the opposite. A male athlete eating a five-dollar-foot-long is wearing his gold medal or his team’s jersey, which enhances his reputation and figure.

  22. Jessica Wentworth says:

    I think there is something to say about the fact that most people don’t even think twice about these commercials or advertisements because they are so common. As a society most of us have become blind to some of these really surprising advertisements because they are so “normal” in our culture now.

  23. This was a really well written essay. The way you present your arguments and back it up with great sources really speak highly of your writing ability. That being said “sex sells” is not a female only phenomena. I know that majority of the objectification of people is directed towards women, it seems that nobody seems to care like this when it’s men who are being objectified. I distinctly remember watching TV with a friend when a Carls Jr. commercial came on and we were both pretty evenly disgusted by it, but right after that some salad dressing commercial came on in which some macho fireman type guy pours some salad dressing and next thing you know he’s naked. When that commercial aired nobody even thought twice, in fact a few of my female friends proceeded to swoon over him. So I understand that there is a huge different in the amount of objectification of men and women, but if you’re going to talk about gender disparities and sex sells mentality I think it could benefit you to look at both sides.

    • Brian Clark says:

      You bring up a good argument with the double standard of gender portrayals in the media. Old Spice commercials, specifically, were ran with an extremely “manly” and muscular actor being the lead. While I feel as though it is a lot less frequent, i do agree with your argument.

  24. Frank Minor says:

    I would agree that it perpetuates the inequality and objectification of women in these ads. Since it essentially correlates women with food, which a large percentage of the male population loves, advertising companies are bound to appeal to this demographic, and these sort of things are going to continue to happen. However, your second point is great how the challenging of these ideals helps shape it and even continue it in many different ways.

  25. Charlie Travis says:

    I really liked your essay and I agree with your argument. I thought the Practice Theory aspect was interesting, especially the question of how different cultural portrayals of sexuality become normalized. I really think it would be interesting to explore how time and change are in relation to each other for these kinds of changes, and how this change rate of normalization can potentially be “sped up” by ideological manipulation. I doubt such an advertisement would have been on a public bus 20 years ago or not one to the degree of what you witness daily. Also, I think it would be interesting to explore the difference between what people consider “objectifying” or not in terms of men and women in advertisements, because regardless, the advertiser is trying to utilize some sense of aesthetic appeal in the actors/models being used.

  26. Mackenzie Carson says:

    I think this an important idea to bring up and I’m glad you wrote about it! As a female I’m lucky enough to live in a time and country where I’m (mostly) seen as equal with men. It’s disappointing and offensive to see ads like this that remind me that there is still so much sexism out there and woman are still constantly portrayed as objects in the media

  27. Maddie Ohaus says:

    I think this article was very well written and definitely an important subject to be discussed. I know the exact ad your talking about but it didn’t really stand out to me until after I had read this. Using sex to sell a product has become to accepted and even expected in our society that it no longer even surprises people when they see it. Something not touched on in the paper that I think is important to note is the effect these specific ads have on young girls in America. It tells them that in oder to wanted or even noticed in this society you have to have a perfect hourglass figure and perfect features. As a country we have made such progress in gender equality and its such a shame how for back these ads set us.

  28. Charlotte Thompson says:

    Great article! I think that the objectification of women in the media is disgusting and a problem that deserves much more attention. It is completeley dehumanizing to make women an object of appetite. In these ads women are considered emotionless prizes. It wouldn’t surprise me if these ads had a noticeable effect on mens views on women as well as the way women see themselves.

  29. Calder Justice says:

    After reading the first paragraph of your essay I paused to find a copy of the Rooster. My initial intention was to locate the Half Fast Subs add that is in there normally and quote it here to present yet another example that is relevant for me. Relevant because I work there and we have discussed this advertisement at work was unanimous disdain. I was, however, unable to find it…but I did find ten or one thousand other adds that work by the same outline as the one you mentioned. This is an annoying fact that is running rampant in our society. I don’t agree with some of the assertions of our classmates. I don’t think that it necessarily dehumanizes the woman through these pictures. It certainly shifts her value to a more carnal nature, which certainly shows the emphasis on physical appearance over other characteristics that dominates our culture. In my opinion this doesn’t serve to dehumanize her, more put a greater stock in a single aspect, which necessarily devalues the other characteristics.

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