Does this advertisement make you feel uncomfortable? For most people, the answer is yes. I want to remind you though that this was an actual ad. After it was released it was quickly banned and Tom Ford was under much scrutiny for objectifying women for mens products. This may be a little hard on the eyes but I don’t think it is much of a surprise to say that this isn’t the worst of them all.
When did this all start becoming normal to look at and accept? This may come as a surprise to you, but you have more than likely been exposed to sexual objectification in the media since the early stages of your life. I remember being around 3 or 4 years old and getting makeup for Christmas because that’s what my barbie dolls came with. Children are trying to grow up before they even get to experience a childhood, this is termed adultification. Thylane Blondeau is the perfect example of a child who “grew up too fast” because began modeling at age four on the runway. Blondeau hit headlines when she appeared on the front page of the french version of Vogue sprawled out on a couch dressed in gold stilettos. This kind of media is very common for popular editorials but Blondeau was only 10 years old, so you can imagine the controversy. The young model and actress now has over 678k followers on Instagram at age 15. Young children who see how many followers Blondeau has only social media or how she appears in magazines tend to idolize her. This may cause problems for younger girls such as:
Should any of the following listed above be happening to girls 10 years or younger?
Objectification does not only effect younger girls or women, it also has a negative effect on boys and men as well. If boys are seeing these pictures at a young age then they are more than likely to think of women as always looking like these models and actors. Or they may also think it is okay to treat women as meat. The video below does not only show sexual objectification of women but also how the media portrays men to be toward women.
So it may not be surprising to see men’s cologne clenched between women’s breast and legs or women fighting over whether a burger is Tex or Mex while playing a friendly game of volleyball in their bikinis…because that happens all the time.
This never happens.
Somehow we are wired to believe think that this is normal though or to fantasize over the models on ads. I am very guilty of this, I have followed Alexis Ren on social media since 2013 back when she only had around 100k followers, now she sits at a whopping 7.2 million with each photo with 400k likes or more. She became more famous and suddenly it didn’t feel as good to look up to her.
I decided about a month ago to unfollow Alexis Ren, not because I think she is a bad person but more for my mental health.
My challenge for you is to unfollow someone on a social media account, not only to practice self awareness, but to also open the doors to truly accepting and appreciating yourself without the influence of the media.
Check out my video of me interviewing my suite mate Erin on how she feels she has been influenced by the media!