Editor’s Note: Author Toccara Gaines Vaughn is a student in the fall 2010 Women’s Studies Program Special Topics course, That Chick is Crazy: Women and Madness, at The University of Akron.
I turn on the TV, and a commercial promoting beer has a sexy woman wearing a low-cut blouse and little shorts advertising how tasty it is. I turn the channel, and a music video about violence has five women in bikinis dancing around. So I turn off the TV and open a magazine and there sits a woman on the beach with nothing but a towel around her with a milk mustache.
Using women and their bodies to promote products and music has become the norm. You’ve heard the saying — SEX SELLS!
And yes it does; it sells women. Sex sells women’s cleavage, breasts, butt, thighs, and legs to make money.
The most annoying part of all of this is that women’s body parts have nothing to do with the product. I understand if there is a correlation, as in the sale of lingerie, but when I see a half naked woman being used to promote shampoo, it rubs me the wrong way.
But the advertisers are not completely at fault. These women agree to use their bodies to promote products. Author Zach Bigalke wrote a great story on this very topic.
This brings me to my next point about women losing their significance. The more women continue to agree to use their bodies to promote business, the more insignificant a woman’s voice will become. Her body will become her voice. It will no longer matter what she has to say but only what she looks like. Her opinion or analysis of the product won’t matter because society will expect her body to do the talking and make it sexy so it will sell.
This trend reminds me of how women in the 19th and 20th century were treated like objects. Their significance was their ability to make babies, cook, clean, and be a good housewife.
Women in those days didn’t have a voice. Their intelligence didn’t define them; their domestic ability did.
Men didn’t ask women before they married them, “What’s your take on the economy? How do you think we can improve it?” Instead, they were probably asked, “What’s your take on having kids? How many can you have?”
So women being used as objects isn’t anything new. It has just evolved. But along with evolution came the choice that women now have to be something greater.
To be or not to be used is our choice.
It’s our choice to cook, clean, smile, and to pose for the camera. It is up to women to come up with more creative avenues for promotion.
Women, let’s think outside of the box so society doesn’t put us in a box. When you’re put in a box you’re given limitations.
Women fought in the 19th and 20th century so limitations couldn’t be placed on us. Evolution is growth, so let’s continue to grow and not let society stop our evolution with money and sex.