Women: Barbies or Humans?
by ColdWater on February 24, 2017 - 5:25pm
From the first Barbie in 1959 to the millions of advertisements in the 21st century, women have never been portrayed or conveyed in the way that they should be. Not only is it common for women to be considered and used as objects in commercials, flyers, and billboards in North America, but it is also frequent in South America. Kitadol is a medicine company out of Chile that released an advertisement in April of 2013 of an objectified woman lifting weights in a gym while being touched by two men and stared at by three other men, as if they have complete power over her.
Through this advertisement, men are getting the idea that it is acceptable for them to have control over a woman and to touch her and look at her as if she is a sexual object. (Miss Representation, 28:30) Women are being convinced that it is respectable for men to touch them and look at them as if they are a sexual object in an environment where this type of behavior is not invited, especially since the female in the advertisement is indifferent to what is happening to her and does not even attempt to stop the men from touching and looking at her. Instead, she does not react, keeps a neutral face, and continues with her exercise as if what the males are doing to her is completely normal. The advertisement is implying that this type of behaviour and way of thinking is acceptable and that sex sells. As mentioned in Miss Representation, “throughout any type of mass media there is, we see the widespread acceptance of women as sex objects” (28:02).
The female’s reaction is concerning because, frankly, there isn’t one. That is the scary part. Nobody is reacting the way they should, and that includes the three men looking at the woman. Instead of stopping the other two men from touching her, they are standing back and accepting it, which is not the right way to go about this. Women and men should not be under the impression that this kind of behaviour is acceptable, no matter what the circumstances are. Women going to the gym is a worldwide typical every-day situation. It is sad to think that some women would not react and would let men play with them as if they are a Barbie doll. It is concerning that females do not realize that they are in control of their bodies and what they say goes. It is equally as sad to think that men believe they have power and control over women’s bodies. For women to have control, they need to react, speak up, and stand up for themselves.
In order to make the female’s body in this advertisement less problematic, I would, for starters, take the men’s hands off the woman and make the other three men not stare at her. I would want the same number of women as men in the advertisement to not give off the wrong impression that men are more powerful. The last thing I would change is to have every person focused on what they are supposed to be focusing on; physical activity. There is absolutely no reason for five men to be staring at and touching a female who is only doing what she went to the gym to do. Women’s bodies should not be portrayed this way for marketing and publicity purposes. I would like to alter the gendered message from this type of behaviour being accepted by both genders to making both genders realize that women must give men the green light before they invite themselves onto their bodies and vice versa. I would not want children and teenagers to grow up thinking that women are sexual objects, especially in the 21st century.
History.com Staff. “Barbie Makes Her Debut.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009,
www.history.com/this-day-in-history/barbie-makes-her-debut. Accessed 22 Feb. 2017.
Lixil Graphics Ltd. “Adsarchive.” Coloribus.com, Kitadol Kitadol Pain Relief,
www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/prints/kitadol-pain-relief-gym-18682705/. Accessed 22 Feb. 2017.
Newsom, Jennifer Siebel, director. Miss Representation. 2011, www.netflix.com/title/70167128.
Accessed 22 Feb. 2017.
“See What's next.” Netflix - Watch TV Shows Online, Watch Movies Online, www.netflix.com/.
Accessed 22 Feb. 2017.