Creating a relationship between alcohol, sex, and the commodification of the female body is very dangerous. These ads take sexualization to a new level when they literally turn a woman’s body into a bottle of beer for a man’s consumption. As if my body being associated with a product for sale were not bad enough, let’s add booze into the mix. Even if I were able to overcome the idea that my body is not a bottle of alcohol to be consumed by men, other drunken individuals are still seeing me this way.
It’s time to take a more serious look at sexual assault on college campuses, and maybe the place to start is by looking at the media’s influence. We cannot keep allowing girls and boys to internalize and normalize the images that we see in alcohol advertisements. The alcohol industry clearly has an invested interest in young people. However, the advertisements that they are currently producing are not acceptable in that they are creating a dangerous environments for the young people who they are targeting. They are creating a dangerous relationship between alcohol and sex, one that feeds directly into strengthening rape culture. We cannot let the alcohol industry define how kids grow up perceiving themselves and perceiving their lives after high school, particularly when such notions of what is “normal” for college students are leading to such serious consequences as sexual assault. (via)
You’ve Been SPARK’d!invites you to call attention to sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other negative stereotypes in media. We want people to talk back everywhere—on ads on the street, between the pages of magazines, on toy packaging and movie posters, anywhere that you see something that you want to call out. It’s easy to do yourself: some post-its, a marker, and a camera (your phone will do) and you’re good to go.
But with your support, we can take it further— think notes in the shape of speech bubbles, so you can show everyone what the people in the ads are REALLY thinking. Think arrows to draw attention to particularly egregious parts of merchandise packaging. Think premade sticky notes that have a URL across the bottom, inviting everyone who sees them to a website where they can share their photos, see what other people are saying to advertisers, and find out how to get in on the action. Think a coordinated movement.
We need $5000 to get this campaign done right, and we need everyone’s help to do it! Please check out & share our campaign and consider donating what you can. Every dollar counts!
70% of Americans watch the Super Bowl (DANG, RIGHT?!) and half of those viewers are women. Yet somehow, the multi bazillion dollar commercials that run during the game target a very small demographic and, as a result, end up loaded with sexism & misogyny. Join us & Miss Representation on Twitter during the game calling out companies with sexist ads using #NotBuyingIt or #NoloCompro. Make sure you tag the company so they know they’re getting called out! (For example, when we inevitably tweet about Go Daddy’s uninspired “DID U KNOW GIRLS HAVE BOOBS” style of advertising, we’ll be sure to address it to @godaddy so they know just how boring and uncreative they are.)
Anjan G. sent in an interesting pair of ads. One appeared in Cosmo; it involves a man in a sweater cuddling with puppies and drinking a Molson. It’s an example of an ad that glamorizes a soft and sensitive masculinity:
The other appeared in men’s magazines, including Playboy and FHM. It tells readers, explicitly, that the first ad is designed to manipulate women into being sexually attracted to men who drink Molson:
The text is worth reading:
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF WOMEN. PRE-PROGRAMMED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE.
As you read this, women across America are reading something very different: an advertisement (fig. 1) scientifically formulated to enhance their perception of men who drink Molson. The ad shown below, currently running in Cosmopolitan magazine, is a perfectly tuned combination of words and images designed by trained professionals. Women who are exposed to it experience a very positive feeling. A feeling which they will later project directly onto you. Triggering the process is as simple as ordering a Molson Canadian (fig. 2). … Extravagent dinners. Subtitled movies. Floral arrangements tied together with little pieces of hay. It gets old. And it gets expensive, depleting funds that could go to a new set of of 20-inch rims. But thanks to the miracle of Twin Advertising Technology, you can achieve success without putting in any time or effort. So drop the bouquet and pick up a Molson Canadian…
The second ad, then, portrays men as lazy, shallow jerks who are just trying to get laid (not soft and sensitive at all). And it portrays women as stupid and manipulable.
The two ads are a nice reminder that marketers count on their audiences being separate. They can send each audience contradictory messages, confident that most women will never pick up Playboy and most men will never pick up Cosmo. This is an assumption that marketers have long counted on. Miller Beer, for example, includes pro-gay advertising in magazines aimed at gay men, counting on the idea that heterosexual men, many of whom are homophobic, will never see that Miller markets itself as a gay beer.
So Molson is counting on women never seeing their ads in men’s magazines. Alternatively, they’re perfectly happy to alienate female customers. Or maybe both.
Today is boot camp for all of you shoppers. This holiday season, it’s more important than ever that we tackle the stores with a critical eye, since it seems like companies are always ramping up their attempts to sexualize, demean and otherwise alienate young women shoppers. From ads that use the bodies of women and girls to sell products to products that explicitly tell us we should value looks over minds (JC Penney’s “too pretty to do homework” shirt, anyone?), it’s time for girls everywhere to learn the ins and outs of critical, active shopping. Join us with an inquiring mind and a willingness to learn, and at the end of this crash course, you’ll be able to complete your shopping with ease.
Click through and learn why active shopping is so important, how to critically read advertisements, how to talk back to companies that are doing things you don’t like, and where to find alternatives to mass retailers who sell women’s bodies alongside their products.
"Men who cry are deemed “unmanly,” men who don’t want to be apart from their significant other are “unmanly,” men who like Kelly Clarkson are “unmanly,” men who ask another man to go to the bathroom at the same time as them are “unmanly” … all leading up to men who choose any light beer other than Miller Lite being “unmanly.” Luckily, these men always have a posse of dudes to remind them how unmanly they’re being and set them on the straight and narrow by ordering a Miller Lite. All is then right with the world, men are again masculine – meaning a safe distance from anything that may be considered – shudder – feminine. Miller Lite will SAVE you from being a woman, it seems."
Jenny Gill was in New York’s Cornell Weill hospital earlier this year for the birth of her son, Jack, when a photographer stopped by to take snapshots of the mother and newborn. The practice is common in hospitals, but what the photographer did next surprised Gill.
“In the middle of taking the pictures, she pulls out this cutely wrapped onesie and says, ‘Oh, here’s a free Disney onesie. We’ll just need your email address,’” Gill recalls. “It weirded me out. I just gave birth, please lay off with the Disney already!”
Disney is unlikely to lay off anytime soon, and neither are the countless other brands in need of dollars. They’re part of a trend—fueled in part by digital devices—toward aggressively targeting a demographic that didn’t exist, in marketers’ eyes, until recently: infants to 3 year olds. By getting their logos and iconic characters in front of babies—even those with still-blurry eyesight—they hope to establish brand-name preference before she or he has uttered a word.