When open a magazine you are instantly bomb-bared with advertisements and it doesn't have to be a man's magazine to be full of images that objectify women. With the media obsessed with the idea of "Sex" as a tool of profit, advertisement companies will go at great lengths to pimp out these sexualized imagines. OF course, not all of them are not as obvious as other but it's hard not to get the message.
The collage and images above are representations of females being portrayed in advertisements. Every ad places the women in a way that represents the way they are being used to sell a product with sexual undertone. Some examples make women sexually aggressive in a demeaning way, some portray women as dumb, as a sexy maid, nothing more then pieces of a body (to be stuck in a shoes as seen above).
The more aggressive idea can be seen in advertisements for a bra, which in the tag line emphasis that if you buy their product you will never have to pay for another drink again. The Revlon ad refers to women as the aggressors with only animalistic thoughts. Then there is the portrayal of women as innocent, dumb, and looking to be controlled. Or women as a victim, as in the Dolce & Gabbana* ad where it looks like a gang rape is about to take place, or the Sean Combs perfume ad, where the women looked to be at the mercy of the man. Seeing the ads in magazines, especially as a young girl only put more emphasis on the role that women take in society. A sexual victim housewife who is dumb to be exact.
According to the Hesse-Biber book, "The Cult of Thinness", images of unrealistic women in the media, leave girls and young women the a false sense of femininity and what it means to be a girl in our society. Images of thin and sexual women create this idea that in order to be apart of the "Cult" you need to fit these images. Women who are over weight are view as lazy and unmotivated, the total opposite of sexy (Hesse p17). A woman's worth is measured in how many men she can attract in one day (Hesse p22).
Although it may seen like a stretch that advertisements could have such an effect over our lives but we spend more time looking at negative advertisements in magazines, on TV, and everywhere else they can put them, then we do positive images. And it is having a horrible effect. Women adapt these "rituals" of unhealthy weight loss, consumerism, and exercise just to be considered a women (Hesse p16). In the article called "Reinventing the Cosmo Girl: Class, Identity, and Girl Style American Dreams", the author examines the influence of women's magazines have on their target market (single working women between 18-34 years old). The magazines instruct women how to dress at work, how to date, and flirt properly to attract a man. A girls identity it formed by this information they are reading and by the advertisements they are seeing. Girls learn how to create an illusion of beauty, and as they master it, where does the illusion end and who we really are begin?
In conclusion, girls are getting a strong message about who they are suppose to be and boys are getting the message of what they should expect a girl to be. With these ideas being reinforced not only are women losing self expression but men are getting nothing but the illusion of a woman. Open a magazine and see for yourself, are you being sold by sex?
*All the images are from genderads.com
Hesse and Biber. The Cult of Thinness. Chapters 1-4. Oxford University Press, Inc. New Work. 2007.
Oullette. "Reinventing the Cosmo Girl: Class, Identity, and Girl Style American Dreams." p116-128.