Today my sociology class watched a video about sexism in advertising. The video itself was clouded with both truths and invalid opinion, most of which I figured my peers of intelligent college enrolled classmates could differentiate between. In the post-video discussion it was obvious they could not.
Some had solid footing in that they could claim sexism on most of the arguments but that only goes so far. Where was the blaming on ourselves? On our own biologically given (or God-given based on your beliefs) sexual tendencies?
Some claimed, as was also said in the video, that the media uses advertising to display images (Super-model bodies) that very few people can accomplish. So by that argument, we are being forced to see that as the ultimate sexual attraction and that if these perfect figures weren’t forced down our throat with advertising, we wouldn’t have such “unrealistic” standards. Really? So it has nothing to do with that fact that we as humans are biologically made to find those forms attractive?
Several studies have been done to show how symmetrics work with the human mind. The same person can be viewed completely different depending on the change of one minor detail, all related to the symmetry of their face. There is a mathematical equation for “perfection” and while I don’t remember it off the top of my head, studies have shown that it’s as close as possible to proving a set attraction. So no, we don’t think your cousin with the lopsided face is unattractive due to the media telling us so, we think she is because our brains are like giant computers and we like symmetry.
Also, do people need to be reminded that the love of huge breasts goes all the way back to cave man times? It’s genetically sound. A woman with big breasts will adequately supply their young with milk therefore we have an attraction for it. As with animals, it’s survival of the fittest. We look for attractiveness and what will help to keep our lineage going. It’s simple evolution.
Am I saying that advertisements aren’t sexist? Not at all. There are several very sexist advertisements out there, but there’s a fine line between sexism and good business. Sexism by definition is the inequality of sex and gender. Do I see that when I see a girl posing scantily in a magazine ad? Sometimes but certainly not a majority of the time. If anything they have more power than the males (and some women) who are oogling at them.
Some say that the “innocence” on display in the ads are meant to be demeaning and show the girls as weak. Really? Because what I see is a sexy girl biting her lip and pushing up her cleavage, it’s clear she knows she has every guy looking at her by her finger. Girls mimic this and torment guy after guy as they make their venture through life. I know because it’s happened to me. The girls I know that do this aren’t weak; in fact, they’re the exact opposite.
Now, again, I’m not saying that this is the case with all ads. Some are sick and clearly demean women. But to categorize any ad with a beautiful woman as being sexist is absolutely absurd. People like sex; plain and simple.
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