Women as Commercial Objects

I just hate all those stupid commercials and advertisements, Mauritian or International ones, where women are ‘used’ to sell products that has nothing that directly revolve around the woman. Or the subject of ‘femininity’.

I am far from being a feminist and I am not speaking based on my religious convictions. However, as a woman,  I feel deeply concerned that the woman body keeps being used like that. I know this has been going on since a long time and many voices have been raised against it. Why are those voices falling on deaf ears? Why letting the female body be ‘exposed’ in such a way?

Woman represents beauty and sensuality. This has been true since the dawn of time. And I agree that it must be ‘appreciated’. But are those commercials and advertisements really ‘appreciating’ feminine beauty? They certainly ain’t. Instead, they are trivialising it. In addition to that, they are projecting the false image of what truly constitutes the real beauty of a woman. How many teenagers and adults are being influenced in ‘shaping’ their bodies into those most-of-the-time photoshopped models? And that, at the expense of their health?

Somehow, women have driven themselves to this point since this world is becoming more and more materialistic. Money. Sex. Greed. Selling her body to ads companies is an easier way to make money. And it pays a lot! Moreover, they have to make the most while they still can. Some don’t hesitate to go the extra mile as physical beauty does not last forever.

I am really at a lost as to what can be done to stop using scantily dressed girls and women in everything called publicity. Still, maybe The Little Red Book launched in February 2011 by the Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA) on its Code of Advertising Practice for Mauritius, is a step in the right direction. It can be read from that code of practice that “women must not be treated as objects in advertising especially when her image has no direct relation with the promoted product or service” and Advertising must take in consideration the evolution of the respective roles of women and men in society . . . It must represent women as equally capable, responsible and independent in the conduct of their activities. In addition, neither the picture of a caricature denigrating the role of any person in a couple, nor the representation of an excessive dependence of the character with respect to the products promoted must be displayed. Advertising must respect the dignity of women and men.” Now, how many will abide by these is left to be wondered!

I cannot see how this ‘situation’ can get any better. I cannot see the time when women will say enough is enough and we would actually see an alcohol ad being about alcohol, chocolate being about chocolate, cars being about cars, tools being about tools…calendars being about months.