Suffocation and Retaliation

For decades, women have dealt with being sexually degraded or held to unrealistic standards in advertisements. Everywhere there are billboards sexualizing or putting down women to promote products or brands; cigarettes in the 70s, vacation spots in the 80s, alcohol in the 1990s, and by the 2000s it was everything from shoes to vehicles. As it become increasingly evident that “sex sells,” the idea of women as sexual, subservient beings spread through porn, film, and even children’s products. Music videos by popular teen performers such as Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera began to use well-known directors of adult movies, scantily-clad dolls such as Bratz rapidly gained popularity, and even advertisements aimed at women sexualized themselves rather than men.

Would you want your 13 year-old daughter dressing like this?

As if this was not damaging enough, the women who were being objectified for profit barely resembled a realistic expectation. The ideal became an individual with long legs, large breasts, a small waist, and a digitally enhanced physique so that even the most confident woman became physically incapable of reaching the standards. Young and old women alike wanted to be sexier by losing weight and wearing less. When desperately dieting and exercising failed, they turned to eating disorders and plastic surgery. Yet, nothing was good enough because the depicted standard didn’t, and still doesn’t, exist.

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