"...How do you go about correcting a double standard? If one group of people is being exploited and demeaned in order to sell products, is the intelligent and socially responsible solution to exploit and demean the other group, too?
Taking photographs of human beings with very few clothes on doesn't always add up to irrelevant sexualization. But when the purpose of the photograph is to attract viewer attention to the merits of a consumer product, the naked bodies are being used, and their sexuality is being emphasized, for marketing purposes. Their essential humanity is inconsequential to their value as sexually 'available' (at least for viewing) objects. And turning people into objects-sexual or otherwise-is harmful...
If Adidas is really interested in challenging the status quo and taking a stance on behalf of equality of the sexes, it might create an ad depicting an accomplished female soccer player extolling the virtues of her high-performance footwear.
Failing that, the company might even consider putting principles above opportunism, and canceling its advertising in Sports Illustrated famed swimsuit edition, challenging others to do the same. Now wouldn't that be innovation in marketing?"
"Taking the wraps off male nudity in advertising"
Globe & Mail, July 14, 1993
Shari Graydon, National President, MediaWatch, Canada
It's time for us all to take a stand and turn
our concern into action!
Say no to sexist discrimination and double standards.
Say yes to equality and justice.
For more information, contact Linnea Smith, MD, P.O. Box 16413, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
"People have gotten accustomed to wanting to see women nude," says Stuart Fischoff, a Los Angeles psychologist who studies movie audiences. "They don't think a nude woman looks vulnerable anymore. When a man is uncovered, however, the reaction is that he is extremely vulnerable....But what's happening does send a message that a woman in a naked state is not private anymore, that her body is public property."
"The Barer Sex: She's naked. He's covered.
Is there a problem?"
New York Times News Service, November 1, 1992
"...Cross-culturally unequal nakedness almost always expresses power relations...To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren't is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men's sexual-and hence social-confidence while undermining that of women."
The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolfe
"...Is it sex in which each partner is affirmed or sex in which someone or some group is put down? Does the nudity celebrate the beauty and diversity of the human body? Or is it one-sided nudity that strips women of their dignity and equality along with their clothes, that reduces them to interchangeable bodies or body parts?"
"Sexual Values in Advertising"
Dorchen Leidholdt, Co-founder, Women Against Pornography
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