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Advertising Sexuality Issue Analysis Essay

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Updated: Aug 23rd, 2021

Advertising is a form of communication whose purpose is to inform potential customers about products and services and how to obtain and use them. Many advertisements are also designed to generate increased consumption of those products and services through the creation and reinforcement of brand image and brand loyalty. The aim of advertising is to persuade and influence the behavior of the public in general. Recently, there has been a lot of excitement about sex advertisement. Sex advertising is not something new. Advertising has been greatly influenced by globalization. As a result, this has greatly changed the orientation and views of people about sexuality. This has resulted in the beaming of explicit images in the media which has both its advantages and disadvantages to the woman concerned. Sexual health refers to the many factors that impact sexual function and reproduction. These factors include a variety of physical, mental and emotional issues. (Tom and Jacqueline, 2007) Disorders that affect any of these factors can impact a person’s physical and emotional health, as well as his or her relationships and self-image.

Over the years advertisements have been used to define the gender roles. Thus, advertisements always conform to the gender roles given to women and men. For example, most advertisements will portray a woman as a domestic worker and the woman will be indoors while the man is seen as an outside person. This is in line with how people have been socialized. Even when a woman is given more militant roles she is still confined to the traditional roles. The woman can be seen as taking over the germs and dirt in the home (William J. et al in sell me some prestige). The woman will be triumphant but this will still be within the confinement of the house. The man on the other hand is portrayed as a business person (in a business setting). These are some of the ways in which advertising has been used to ensure that people are socialized in the right way. Any advertisement that does not conform to this is not held in high regard and might have various effects. Including nude photographs of men and women in the magazine might be taken as going against the prescribed norms of the society.

In all kinds of traditional and modern culture there is that sense of valued feminine body. This according to many people differs with the shape of the body and its characteristics. There is the slender type of body which requires a strict diet for it to be maintained. This then bring us to the question on what kind of nude photographs to include in the magazine, what type of body will I use? What will be the impact of using this body structure? What message will it pose to the lady reading the magazine? Sexual health should be able to embrace all the body types and its characteristics. Culturally diet and reproduction is associated with femininity, that is, the slender body type is preferred. Anyone who does not conform to these rules (dietary rules) has made wrong choices (skinny women and good mothers). This shows that the slender body is preferred, meaning the photographs will have a negative impact to the full figured women. According to this article (skinny women and good mothers), a woman has to make the proper dietary and reproduction choices. The nude photographs therefore will not appeal to the general masses, because they will require slender women. At the physical level, the nude photographs will not promote sexual health.(Tom and Jacqueline, 2007)

At the emotional level; traditionally women are considered to stay at home. Women who are considered to be ambitious or career-minded are seen as unhappy and most of the time yearning to return home to their families (William J. et al in sell me some prestige). Including nude photographs in the magazines will emotionally damage some of the career women. The career woman is seen as going against the prescribed norms. The photographs will damage the image of this career woman. As stated above the photographs will target the slender women so anyone who will not be advertised will be emotionally damaged. A feminist stand is to protect the image of the women whether slender or not, working or not working. So since this photograph will not represent a feminist stand then they should not be included in the magazine. The beauty of the woman should be held in high regard. Every woman is beautiful and unique in her own way. We should not use any photographs to give a standard. This is what advertisements do, say or give what is generally accepted. What women feel about themselves should not be given by some nude photographs rather by being accepted in the society. This is despite of age, color, size or race. So if the photographs are included, it will emotionally damage some of the women that might not be slender.

At the psychological level people will have a different idea about women. Traditionally, women are considered to be more reserved and their affairs are more private than men. A feminist approach is that women are more reserved. Those that are not are considered as deviants. For example prostitutes are seen as not conforming to the required norms. At times they are considered to deserving of or prone to diseases (Valerie sacks in women and AIDS). Sexuality is important and at times it defines people in the society. This is why certain people in the community are less valued or are considered as deviants. Nudity will not help in promoting femininity. Even people who will pose in those photographs will be seen as deviants (not conforming to the norms of the society). How then will nudity help in promoting femininity? This will influence the way people perceive women in their community.

Sexual health also includes reproduction. According to the article pushing pill (A. Sere), young girls start using contraceptives early in life. That is during adolescence. This affects their reproduction.The Norplant which many young girls use has many side effects. These effects include: headache, bleeding between menstrual cycles, nausea, weight gain and backache. These changes affect the development of their bodies. The inclusion of nude photographs in the magazine will mean that a lot of girls will be accessing these photographs. During adolescence most teenagers seek active activities like sex, with the availability of these photographs their hormones will be all over, that is, they will be easily aroused. This will mean that they will be having sex very early in life. As a result they will start to use contraceptives very early in life and these contraceptive have some negative results. And if taken very early in life, they even interfere with the development of the body. This is because of the hormonal imbalances caused by the contraceptives. Including nude photographs in the magazine will mean that these photographs will be easily accessed by young girls who at this point in life are out to experiment. So the inclusion of these photographs will have negative effects on the sexual health of the young girls who might not be in a position to control their emotions.

Sales might even go down. This is because people want to conform to the said norms. As no one wants to be seen buying or reading a magazine that has nude photographs. The society has expectations and for one not to be labeled a deviant he/she must conform to these expectations. As a result people might not be very comfortable buying the magazine and so the sales will definitely go down.

The inclusion of the nude photographs will contribute to the poisoning of the bodies of men and women (Adrienne, 2000). This is because the photographs will sexually objectify the men and women. The magazine will help to make the bodies of men and women more serviceable. The magazine will be explicit and thus sexually objectify men and women.

In conclusion the magazine will succeed in objectifying men and women, promote emotional and psychological unrest and at the physical level convince women that there is the generally acceptable body type. They will be very damaging to both men and women. This will interfere with their self image. Self confidence is very important and from a feminist point of view it should always be protected. Advertisement is a very powerful tool and people tend to believe everything that is advertised. For instance according to Adrienne (2000) teen girls believed that Norplant is good; this is because of the advertisement. So if people are told that nudity is acceptable but only some body types are good, this will be very harmful. Feminist should advocate for equality in terms of everyone has something good to give to the society regardless of the body type, color or career. These images will do more harm than good. It is important to know how people get information and how this same information is disseminated to the people (Susan Y. in skinny women and good mothers). It is good to know the effects of knowledge. These nude photographs will have bad effects on the public and thus including them in the magazine will do more harm than good.

References

C. Lewis, (1946), Images of Rosie: A Content Analysis of Women Workers in American Magazine Advertising, vol. (3) 60-187.

S. Yadlon, (1997). Skinny Women and Good Mothers: The Rhetoric of Risk, Control, and Culpability. 8 (2): 42-102.

Tom R. and Jacqueline, L. (2007). Sex in Advertising: Perspectives on the Erotic Appeal. New York, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp.11-119.

T. Stephenson, (1997). Sell Me Some Prestige! The Portrayal of Women in Business-Related Ads. Journal of Popular Culture 30 (4): 255-271.

V. Sacks, (1996). Women and AIDS: An Analysis of Media Misrepresentations, Social. Science and Medicine 42(1): 59–73.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Advertising Sexuality Issue Analysis." August 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/advertising-sexuality-issue-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Advertising Sexuality Issue Analysis'. 23 August.

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