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By Shealyn C.

The descriptive word beauty has a specific meaning. A word with meaning that tends to describe the positive and delight presence that thing or individual carries to enlighten its surroundings. When referring to women and beauty, the descriptive word has definitely transformed it’s meaning today and in the presence. From the days when women portrayed an elegant “beauty” of expressing and encouraging pale skin and full figured body types and the transition it has taken in the twentieth century. Although it does not apply to all cases, the media plays a large roll today in the advertisement of what defines women and the descriptive word that really, defines beauty.

Companies allow a large budget for advertising as they credit most of their success on it. Without exposure, these companies would not succeed and prosper without their stick thin models that a majority of women aspire to be like. It is sort of this crazy idea that these companies expose these humans that not only to other women envy to be, but attract men all in one. The argument and constant trend of this subject is how times and the image that once created celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, have changed into this obsession and morphing young women to be what you see in a magazine; super tall, stick thin, photo shopped to perfection. Although the body type standard is different today, the topic to touch on is the concern of what it takes to be beautiful without having to be naked or the stereotype model to be accepted. “I'm more interested in the deeper trend: How has sexism in advertising changed its tone in the last 50 years as women emerged through the feminist revolution, took the lead in higher education, and achieved parity in the labor force?” (Thompson) I find many articles, commercial, etc. use women in a more sexual way then before. Yes, it existed. Sexism has been occurring in advertisements for decades and marks a major point in American history. In those days, women were expected to clean, cook, and make love but the respect carried a larger role then it does today. Many times I catch myself seeing men refer to women as an object, animal, or something just to mess around with. The attraction is created by these companies whether it is the director’s point of view, the writers, etc. to attract all types of audience. It has become a money concern and the appreciation for women has now turned into a game; encourage any form of sex to rake in more money.

Today, women have made a remarkable change of events and have proved they are capable of anything such as influential human beings like Oprah. Oprah Winfrey has made success in every category possible. She has created an image for herself and a positive one to prove that being sexy and being an object in society is not necessary to prove you can make billions too. However, in some cases the success may come with a downfall. The negative being the media influenced on reality and society as a whole. In cases involving Tyra Banks, the high-end fashion model put on a few pounds and was looked down on by the media. The media stopped speaking positively and treated her as an object with no feelings to create a story and continue the income. We have lost touch on the simplicity of what the meaning is behind the word. The influence media has to portray anyone or anything to think a certain thing along with creating no boundaries for what is too much. Beauty does not have to define a half or full naked human or the touch up distributed all over their face for the advertisement. If we stop focusing so much on the superficial expectancies and more on the roots of where we all came from, sexism can be redefined or non-existent. Both female and male have been taught by the majority of our society and media influences that what we can improve, enhance, touched up, or made sexier to sell or be more attractive is more important then being confident with who you are within. “After instilling anxiety and insecurity in women, the ads imply that buying consumer products can correct practically any defect, real or imagined.” (Jacobsen) The slur used to describe women is very true to what is portrayed. We use females in all outlets such as music, TV, and commercials. Whether it is the shaking of their bodies in a sexual way, wearing provocative things, or simply versing inappropriate sentences, it comes off as a form of sexism. “It's a true cliché to point out that women are objectified in ads, including those selling products to women. But the nakedization of advertising isn't female-specific.” (Thompson)

What we want to see is what we receive. The mass viewers bring in revenue such as for individuals like Kate Upton. Being twenty years old, full figured model and winding up on the cover of Sports Illustrator should say enough on its own. It may not be advertising the anorexic end of media expectancy but it does idolize the female figure in a sense of sexism and what she has to offer simply by physical appearance. We all need to reconsider what the quality of life is really about and reach within ourselves before we rip others apart simply because of what the media or the majority of society expects. Be the change; create a new look of confidence without having to show it through a sexual form or even by being the stick thin model like in the monthly GQ magazine.

Works Cited

Jacobson, Michael. Sexism and Sexuality in Advertisement. Marketing madness: A survival guide for a consumer society. 1995. Westview Press. 22 March 2013.

Polly, Richard. Advertising Sexism is forgiven. International Journal of Advertising. 1990. University of British Columbia. 22 March 2013.

Zimmerman, A. & Dahlberg, J. (2008). The Sexual Objectification of Women in Advertising: A Contemporary Cultural Perspective. Journal of Advertising Research, 48(1), 71-79. Retrieved from Business Source Complete database. 22 March 2013.