Do advertisements focus on selling the product or focus on the woman in the advertisement and project her as the product itself? Do they highlight the women as mute dolls displayed in a manner pleasing to the makers of the advertisements?
You would not be in a dilemma to answer this question. With the blooming trend of using women as the object of attraction in various forms of advertisements, the answer is definitely “yes”.
Women have been portrayed as mere objects in advertisements since the early 1900’s. They still continue to be used so. When a comparison is made between the ratio of men and women seen in advertisements, it is the men who are larger in number. However advertisements have begin to use women as a way to sell their product and in most cases, in fulfilling the company’s motive of attracting potential customers. They become like goods which are bought and sold. For instance, in advertisements we usually see women presenting products or an idea about products, but unfortunately, they use their bodies to attract consumers. For example when presenting a product , females usually do very attractive gestures like moving their sensitive parts of their body and showing them off, and most of them are half naked .Moreover, we always face advertisements wherever we go in the street, on the screen television, in newspapers etc. However, the consumers do not focus on the quality of the product being advertised but they focus on the quality of the women who advertise the product.
In most of the advertisements, she is generally showing more skin or rather her flesh than required. To start with, one can see women being exploited and used as show pieces in ads of all leading fashion brands of clothing. It is still acceptable and makes sense when women display skin in advertisements of clothes as it becomes necessary to enhance the charm, fitting and look of the designer clothes. But when it comes to ads of Superbikes, watches, perfumes or deodorants, it is just not acceptable. What is the connection of a sexy lady in short clothes trying to sell a men’s Hublot or some German manufactured brand wrist watch. Watches are simply meant to show the time and in no way the man who buys the watch after looking at the woman will be parceled to him as a lucky gift.
Women have been used as sex-objects in a large number of ads of denim jeans and lipstick and cosmetic products. It seems as though the woman is selling her lips and displaying the bare upper part of her body in jeans ads is to arouse some kind of sexual pleasure after wearing the jeans. The deodorant ads of Axe are another example. Girls in two-piece clothes are not the fragrance or even the reason of the fragrance of the deodorant. Similarly, we could go on and on with a list of ads with degrade women and portray a wrong image of her in the society.
Again, the gender inequality represented has been and is still evident in the world of media and advertisements. We can see women mostly playing domestic roles of washing clothes, a tired house-wife or doing the dishes in the kitchen. The men are generally in the background, casually sitting on a couch or busy answering important calls from their clients. Even here, the superiority of men is displayed and the suppressed image of a woman represented. The advertisements clearly suggest the ideas of a woman capable of only managing the house and turns a blind eye to the fact that she can be as good as the man in running a business or giving speeches as a politician. Men hold the dominant positions and this has an impact on all minds. When women are portrayed as submissive images, they start connecting themselves to that image and remain within those bounds despite her capabilities. The society’s notions of a woman being indoors is further strengthen and any kind of change faces significant.
This trend has not started now or only a few years back. Advertisements since decades are using women as objects raising questions about her purity, simplicity, chastity and motherhood. Fortunately, many feminists and Women Rights association have raised voices and criticized against this treatment of “Women as Mute dolls.” Such advertisements must not be encouraged which directly or indirectly play with the feelings and sentiments of thousands of other females watching these ads. They deeply affect the minds of young girls and children who fall prey to such ads and are unable to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Sexism in advertisements leads to women being marginalized and enter into prostitution. They are exploited mentally and morally more than just physically. They are silenced and even though their inner self is against this exploitation, they are still mute dolls.
On a closing note and according to my opinion , the makers of such advertisements must invest the crores of rupees that are spent on top models and their perfect appearance in the ad in social causes and help women rise above this exploitation and stop degrading women openly in the society.