The “Objectification of Women Essay” is an essay that explores the issue of objectification of women in various contexts, including media, advertising, popular culture, and interpersonal relationships. The essay examines the ways in which women are reduced to mere objects or commodities, rather than being treated as complete human beings with their own thoughts, feelings, and desires.
Objectification of Women Essay (Sample)
Objectification of women is termed as a notion central to feminist theory. It can be defined as treating or seeing a woman as an object, and usually, their experiences and feelings are disregarded. When women are objectified, they become preoccupied with their physical appearance and their sexual values to others. This may lead women to experience unpleasant feelings such as shame and anxiety and eventually lead to long-term psychological harm. Sexual objectification of women also involves women being viewed as objects to satisfy men’s desires, and this is mainly through advertisements, strip clubs, pornography, art, and media. Mostly young women are especially susceptible to being seen as objects. This is because they are taught to earn power, money, and respect from their physical appearance, which is not entirely true.
Table of Contents
Objectification of women in advertising
Women have been made into objects in many different ways, including advertisements, music videos, club stripping, modeling, and pornographic images and videos. Jean Kilbourne raised awareness of the issues such as gender stereotypes, sexism, and how women are objectified primarily in advertisements.
The objectification of women in advertising entails depicting women as objects or commodities rather than as individuals with their own unique characteristics and personalities. This type of representation is often sexualized and reduces women to their physical appearance, treating them as passive and serving the male gaze. Modeling, for example, has made a significant amount of cash for women, but this form of advertising is overwhelmed with sexual harassment. Women are regarded as objects as they are made to put on clothes and walk around for others to see. Some also take naked pictures that objectify their bodies, creating a scenario that encourages violence and sexual abuse (Kilbourne).
The obsession with the thinness of the model’s body and the attainable ideal of feminine beauty is also a way of treating women as objects like the body language of women is often passive as vulnerable, submissive, and different from the men’s body that in most advertisement appear solid and dominant. Many advertisements show women’s bodies, transform them into objects, and justify violence against women (Kilbourne).
The female gender is objectified in music videos, especially in hip-hop videos. They are sexually exposed through sexy dressings, made to speak in a seductive tone, and in their dancing manner, portraying them as sex objects. In most cases, in the videos, the woman’s face is not always shown. Instead, her body becomes a showpiece placed on display, depicting them as something that should not be identified and treating their bodies as separate parts not connected to their minds or emotions. For example, certain body parts like the legs, breasts, and buttocks are emphasized during the shots. These types of notions convey the submissive nature of women and male superiority. Women in the videos are also always seen as supporting roles for their male counterparts. They are never portrayed as independent solid, and career-driven, showing that their focus is entirely on men, and they are purposed to get their attention and keep it. These presentations create women as degrading with low integrity. Their physique is nothing but an object that can be placed on display to attract men and increase sales and views for the music. Therefore, the videos are abusive and objectify women.
Pornographic videos foster the idea that it is acceptable for women to degrade; males gender watch porn more frequently than females. This exposes them to the notion that women are sex objects, describing them in overtly sexual terms than personal attributes. The films also depict gender inequality as, in most cases, men are portrayed as professionals while women are schoolgirls or housewives. During the scenes, ladies are always fully naked, while the men are usually partially dressed. Prostitution and stripping can also be viewed as the exploitation and objectification of the female body; this is because this act completely abstracts the sexual quality of the woman’s body and gives men the authority to judge women. During the performance, the woman’s body is constantly exploited by men since the lady is prone to using their body as a potential tool to be sexually, emotionally, and psychologically empowering (Katy, 74). From the sex clubs, men can legitimately reduce women entirely to their bodies and partake in flagrant sexual objectification (Katy, 75). Club management also treat women as objects to attract male clients into their club to make more profits.
When advertisers use images of women in provocative poses or suggestive clothing to sell products/movies/music, it perpetuates the idea that women’s bodies are objects for the pleasure and consumption of men. This reinforces harmful gender stereotypes and reinforces the notion that women’s worth is based solely on their physical appearance. It also sends a damaging message to women and girls, suggesting that their bodies are not their own and that they must conform to certain beauty standards in order to be considered valuable.
Objectification of women in advertising is not only harmful to women, but it also encourages a culture of objectification and sexualization, which contributes to the normalization of violence against women. This is particularly dangerous in a society where women already face significant barriers in terms of gender equality, such as unequal pay, limited representation in leadership positions, and high rates of sexual harassment and violence.
When women are treated as objects, they scrutinize their physical appearance, which negatively impacts their emotional well-being. They then momentarily start viewing their body from the individual’s perspective that objectifies them; this process makes them experience severe unpleasant feelings such as shame and anxiety, leading to long-term psychological harm (Szymanski, et al. 23). However, women themselves also may contribute towards their objectification through the way they dress and portray themselves around men. To stop such treatments, women must first acknowledge themselves as independent and strong in how they dress and carry themselves, and they should stand and show that can are not objects. Some women also objectify other women, though not to the extent that men objectify women (Szymanski, et al. 24). An example of women objectifying women discreetly could be how women speak to each other; it can also take gender policy. It is essential to intervene and improve women’s lives in the social-cultural context and acknowledge their worth with their body appearance and sexual functions. Women objectification should be eradicated as it creates a climate of violence to women.
Kilbourne, Jean. “The Image of Women in Advertising.”The Y Circus, 4 Jan. 2020, theycircus.com/jean-kilbourne-the-image-ofwomen-in-advertising-sexism-stereotypes/.
Pilcher, Katy. “Empowering, Degrading or a ‘Mutually Exploitative Exchange For Women?’ Characterizing the Power Relations of the Strip Club.”Journal of International women’s Studies, vol. 10, no. 3, Mar. 2009, pp. 73-88, vc.bridgew.edu/jiws.
Szymanski, Dawn M., et al. “Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory and Reaseach.” The Counseling Psychologist, vol. 39, no. 1, 2011, pp. 6-38, tcp.sagepub.com.