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Image / Editorial

Powerful Video Highlights The Damage Of Objectifying Women In Advertising


by Jennifer McShane
10th Mar 2016
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If you are affected by any of the issues covered in this article, contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 1800 77 88 88 / drcc.ie,?SafeIreland.ie?or Reach Out Ireland.

The #WomenNotObjects campaign was founded to combat the objectification of women in mainstream media. Their aim is to teach girls that their worth is not their weight, their looks or their body parts, but who they are, what they have to say and what they can do.

On the back of International Women’s Day, they have released a powerful video intending to target one aspect of the media that needs to change now: advertising. More specifically, advertising that can depict and trivialise violence against women and the real ways they can be harmed and objectified.

In the three-minute clip, the group highlights various high-fashion and viral campaigns that “glamourise” violence and assault against women to sell wares and so on. “Advertising often trivialises battering, sexual assault and even murder,” says the voice over. Women Not Objects makes the point that mass media’s deception of the “ideal” appearance and behaviour woman are told they should aspire to, don’t match up. So, women are shown, for example, that having full lips is the ‘definition’ of beauty, yet they are criticised if they take steps to get these with plumping products and so on – it’s a constant, vicious circle. The video ultimately ‘makes a compelling case for how this constant objectification affects women and girls in very horrid ways; remember the dangerous Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge?

The clip is graphic and disturbing, yet hones in on a powerful and significant point: these cultural “ideals” depicted in advertising are unattainable and unrealistic, so why are women continually told that what they look like matters above all else?

The organisers are encouraging females to stand together and say “no” to this idea so that we can get closer to a world where the primary focus isn’t on a woman’s body, but her dreams, goals and most importantly, her accomplishments.

It’s a tough, yet necessary watch.

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