Body Imagery in Sex Advertisments

By: Brittany

You see an advertisement come on to your television that is trying to sell you a product and the product happens to beer. Now do you actually notice the beer or the hot babe that is splashing the beer on her half naked body. People may think well this is taking away from the product but the truth is, it is actually increasing the chances of it selling more with attractive women using the product. That is when the quote comes into play “sex sells”. Throughout history advertisement has incorporated sex into their selling strategies and throughout the year’s sex in advertisement has become more profound that it’s not uncommon to see a women using her beauty and sexual appeal into advertisements. According to Neil E. Harrison, the reason “sex sells” is because it attracts attention even when the consumer looks away in disgust the point was the consumer looked and if imagery is pushing the envelope or shocking or borderline offensive, it then becomes more memorable (p.2). Touching on the fact that sex in advertisement can be very shocking and yet to understand why sex is put into advertisements that have nothing to do with the product. For example, body wash for men is shown that when they use the product lustful beautiful women will want you. Its like the advertisements in the media can fulfill a desired fantasy that attracts so many people to the product as it may mislead the consumer of what’s reality and just a fanasty.

Focusing on the women that are in these advertisements seem to be the “ideal women” that men want and women want to be. Advertisements show women as only conventional beauty that is perfection with having no line or wrinkles, no scars or blemishes. The women in advertisement are generally thin, tall and long-legged and above all she is young. Women are constantly exhorted to emulate this ideal, to feel ashamed and guilty if they fail, and to feel that their desirability and lovability are contingent upon physical perfection. Looking more into imagery of women, we see physical perfection; it is very hard to escape the images of the “perfect bodies” displayed every day by mass media.  They are on TV, billboards, magazines, newspapers, clothing, movies, and the Internet. Eventually being around this everyday women conform to the “ideal women” because physical attraction today means everything and the media wants women to believe that it can be achieved through conformity. Body and imagery of women show that thin is in, that being thin and attractive is a social acceptance and women will put their bodies through anything to achieve the physical perfection. Women spend endless time trying to change their physical form whether it is shape, breast or facial structure. Women also starve themselves to achieve the model-thin look not caring about the outcomes just that it’s a social acceptance.

Looking more at women’s bodies in advertisements, we begin to see women’s bodies are shown as a dismembered body that seems to not show the full view of the entire women to show that she is a human being. What I mean by dismembered bodies is that when imagery is highlighted of the female of just lips, legs, breast, butts, and torsos of the female body part, while in these frequent images the women’s head is missing, that emphasizing that females are not valued for their intellect, but for the male viewing pleasure of their external form. This then detracts from thinking about women becoming objects for consumption in the mass media. In viewing a lot of advertisements, I see women as a male visual that both the product and female that is advertising, it becomes pleasure objects for male.

Sex is a powerful advertising tool, and there’s a reason for it: We like sex. Humans are visual. Even though we are taught to look beneath the physical beauty, but how often we are guilty of doing the opposite. Attractive people tend to get more attention and it will capture customer’s perception. Nowadays, you must do some extra things before you can capture the attention of some people. But do advertisement really have to go this far with causing so many women and men to worry about what society see’s as beautiful, if you think about it how much different would a product sell if we took out computerized imagery and worrying about the body image just an actually person that you see in everyday life, how truly different when advertisements sell.

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3 Responses to Body Imagery in Sex Advertisments

  1. Pingback: Student Blogs – Gender and Popular Culture | Popular Culture

  2. Pingback: Student Blogs – Gender and Popular Culture | Popular Culture

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