This video from Badger & Winters, an advertising agency in New York, has been circulating on social media lately and it’s been reigniting discussions around the portrayal of women in ads. Women being used as sexual objects isn’t anything new, but this is the first time an ad agency is taking this kind of public stance. “Socially conscious advertising” has been gaining traction over the last couple years so I’m not really surprised to see #WomenNotObjects taking off.
In general, I don’t have an issue with sex being used to sell products. Do I think it’s lazy? Yeah. Do I think it’s wrong? To a certain point (in particular, when adolescent girls are sexualized. It’s just so…creepy. ). I think over-sexualization isn’t only a women’s issue, however, men have become over-sexualized too in advertising. There is growing evidence that body insecurity is increasingly affecting men and boys. Sex and unrealistic body ideals may be effective to sell things, but it’s not the only way to do it. Hopefully other agencies and advertisers take a note from this video.