Aging centuries in history, women objectification has been the source of issues such as rape, unequal pay, domestic violence, and more. In the 70’s, a wave of women stood up against this prominent sexism and patriarchal society they were forced to live under and tolerate. This was one of the strongest waves of the women’s rights movement. Sports began to change for women, acting, music, and other professions that were initially seen to be fit under certain circumstances. The jobs seen as most fit for women- secretary, teacher, maid, model, beauty pageant contestant-gradually began to reform themselves. Although this progress towards reform did indeed take place, the change was not, and will never be, 100% done.
As it has been throughout history, objectification is featured most prominently in media, and especially in advertisements.
Advertisements are one of the greatest sources of sexism, even without realizing it. As perfectly stated by Kilbourne, advertising is subconscious; we sometimes do not even notice some of the most false information we take in. Most people say, “I don’t look at ads, I just ignore them”. Well, subconsciously, the person did retain something from the ad.
Let’s say the person saw an advertisement of a woman, half-naked, holding a perfume bottle. What did this person retain from this? If it were a man, he may most likely see the women’s body as the ideal body for any woman, and would keep this view and judge other women if they did not live up to this standard. What else did he take in? The makeup as well perhaps. The false fact that for women to be beautiful their true face must be hidden and covered by layers of cosmetics. Let’s look at the last thing he took in. In one word-Objectification. The woman was half naked..okay so this must mean whenever that man sees a woman, he may be more inclined to view a woman as an object rather than a human being. The truth.
In the eyes of a woman, what does she see? She sees false body and beauty standards. The need to expose oneself more to be noticed and to attract men. The need to wear makeup everywhere to disguise her true self. The need to be skinny, have curves, a round butt, and a big chest. She sees everything she believes she needs and does not have.
In regards to this body shaming, we have something known as slut shaming. Gosh the word “slut” is thrown around so much these days. So much that we are so incapable of realizing the actual hurt behind the word. Calling a woman a slut brings about a certain thought; that the woman gives her body away and has no respect for herself. It gives a certain form of “confirmation” that the woman isn’t a woman. She’s a slut. And she should be ashamed of it.
The word should not be thrown around. Better yet it shouldn’t be said. If it were to be said, it should be said for both genders. Not just women. A woman who wears a tank top that is lowered slightly just above her chest is not a slut. She is proud of her body and is allowed to be. A woman who wears shorts, thongs, lace bras, high-waisted jeans, crop tops, dresses, skirts, shoulder-cut shirts, and bikinis, is a woman who is proud to be herself. And nothing can, should, and will ever take away that pride.
Let us fight this injustice. We must make sure, primarily, that this inaccurate representation does not reach the eyes of the young population and upcoming generations. Instead of yielding their eyes away from these advertisements, completely reform and change them. Let us see the beauty of a woman or a man, not their body. Let us see her natural face with her freckles, and everything there is to see.
Stray away from the accepted and you can change more than you know.