Objectification whatever the size: MTR on Online Opinion
On the 7pm ABC News Sunday, June 27, a report on the Federal Government’s new voluntary body image code of conduct was illustrated by the story of size 14 model Laura Wells. Laura was proud of her body and very confident, even though she didn’t conform to the typical model body type.
That is a good thing of course. It’s positive to have women in the industry who challenge the thin ideal.
But the argument fell apart for me, because, as the ABC report informed us, Laura was so confident that she even took her clothes off for modeling shoots. And then we saw some footage of her squeezing her breasts together for the camera. She was naked. Read the complete article here.
As readers know, I was a guest on the Gruen Sessions, broadcast online on the ABC website last Wednesday. I blogged on it here. Just came across this blog, ‘Head, Heart, Hands’ commenting on the show. I particularly liked Sheryl’s insightful observation below and thought you might be interested in what she says as well.
What I found really interesting was the ability of the advertising executives to hold a position of defensive innocence in tension with their
1. agreement that advertising images are connected with negative mental and physical health outcomes for young women.
2. acknowledgement that when the advertising industry uses real women in ads it’s only as a strategy to sell more product, not because it’s the right thing to do.
3. acknowledgement that advertising taps into consumers’ aspirations and desires, including aspiring to very narrowly defined “good looks”, because aspiration creates sales.
4. agreement that advertising has a responsibility to “get it right” and not objectify women when solving their client’s brief.
5. agreement that there should be transparency about the use of digital technology to enhance images.
6. agreement that there should be stricter standards on outdoor advertising because “you can’t get away from it”.
7. acknowedgement that only 4% of women in our society are like the women used in advertisements.
You can read Sheryl’s post here.
UK Bans Diesel ads – but not because of offense to women
The ads were banned not because they were objectifying and offensive to women, but because they might encourage copy-cat behaviour (cos like a woman in a bikini is going to take a photo of her genitals with a lion lurking in the background).
As RORW writes: “…this is an ad campaign that BLATANTLY preaches that appearances, promiscuity and sexiness is far more important than WHO we are and what we accomplish”.