Every day we are exposed to advertising, we drive down the highway and see billboards, we scroll down our news feed on Facebook and see side ads, and our favorite shows cut to commercials on television. According to Jean Kilbourne, advertising is an over 100 billion dollar a year industry and we are exposed to over 2000 ads a day. Advertisements don’t just sell us products, they sell images, values, and concepts of success, worth, love, sexuality, and normality. By doing so, they tell us what we should be. They set unrealistic standards, especially for women. The women in advertisements are more often than not young white women portrayed as beautiful housewives and sex objects, or in other words, these women are objectified. Advertisements should be critically analyzed because they are one of the main sources of influence for young people and what they teach may not be what is best for society. Advertisements often sexualize the product they are trying to sell. Axe commercials are one of the first advertisements that come to mind. One commercial for Axe hair products from 2012 portrays a story of love between a disembodied head of hair (the male) and a dismembered pair of large breasts (the female), that closes with them transforming into the attractive people they represented under the line: “Hair: it’s what women notice first” (Bahadur). This commercial is a prime example of how women are objectified in advertisements as it suggests that the first thing men notice are breasts and gives the impression that all women are just a pair of breasts for men to ogle. This also teaches young women that if they want men to want them, they need to have large breasts and be overall attractive. Another sexualized advertisement was posted by Belvedere vodka on Facebook and Twitter, then removed almost immediately. The ad pictures a man seemingly taking advantage of a woman and says “Unlike some people… Belvedere always goes down smoothly” (Bahadur). Belvedere apologized on...
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