Sexy; For Sale
Last night as I was flipping through a magazine, I noticed every other advertisement featured a scantily clad, impossibly flawless model armed with a sultry look, coaxing readers to dare to be just as sexy and cool as she.
Giorgio Armani’s ad for its Acqua di Gioa fragrance, for instance, showcases a naked woman with perfect skin, her body only partly concealed by a fan of leaves and her long, seductively wet hair.
Similarly, a Louis Vuitton ad highlights a beautiful woman hugging a designer bag, covered with nothing but a coat draped over her bare shoulders, and a Narciso Rodriguez perfume ad pairs the product’s image with that of a topless model bearing a submissive expression, her long, vulnerable neck reminiscent of a helpless vampire victim’s.
What do all these advertisements have in common? They all perpetuate the platitude that sex sells. And the sad thing is, it’s true: sex is arguably the most powerful marketing tool these days.
People like looking at sexy people doing sexy things; it’s human nature.
More importantly, they like to pretend that they’re just as sexy as the models themselves. That said, though it goes against all common sense to believe that purchasing certain products has the ability to transform an average Jane into a drop-dead goddess (spritz some of this, and your neck will become just as long and lovely!), the method of luring potential consumers in with uber-seductive displays works like a charm.
Now that’s all fine and dandy — after all, everyone enjoys gawking at pretty items perched on equally attractive props. The trouble is, that’s exactly what women are being reduced to: props. Nowadays, advertising often involves the gross exploitation of the female body — a major downside to the whole “sex sells” thing, if you ask me.
The hypersexualization and objectification of women in today’s media has become so commonplace that hardly anyone ever stops to consider the consequences of utilizing such marketing techniques.
Women are subjugated and dehumanized in order to promote the sale of inanimate objects—items that quite often have nothing to do with exposed bodies contorted into seductive poses (e.g., women don’t normally walk around stark naked just because they’re wearing pricey perfume!).
Consumerism has become so powerful in modern day society, that few people bat an eyelash when a woman’s body and sexuality are used for the sake of boosting sales. From TV commercials, to magazine ads, to giant billboards, the exploitation of the female form is everywhere.
The result? Not only has the phenomenon set a ridiculously high standard of beauty in our society, but it’s also somehow made it okay to perceive women as nothing more than juicy pieces of meat: delicious steaks served to the masses by companies hoping to make a profit off consumers’ everlasting hunger.
But then again, a little cleavage or side boob never hurt anyone. Forget the chick’s face; just direct your attention to her perfectly toned physique and insanely supple breasts. In fact, off with her head completely!
She’s a much better “product companion” than that silly mannequin, no? The fake tan totally makes her more lifelike! Go on, fetch me another—preferably one with a more robust bum.
Zoom into her torso. Or ass. Or down there, even. That’s it.
Now lay that product on her, next to her — whatever — like so, and . . . voila! Sold.