Women as sex symbol in advertising

Posted on November 26, 2011

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A young seductive very aroused woman dressed in nothing but a pair of dark blue jeans is being caressed from behind by a man who is also shirtless, his left hand sliding down the front of her unzipped jeans. His right hand barely covers her right breast, while the other is partially hidden by a bottle of one very famous brand of fragrance. This is the description of an advertisement for Calvin Klein that appeared in the late 2009 as a marketing strategy for their number one selling fragrance One.

In the 2007 an Italian Fashion house had to cancel their controversial ad as it featured a lone woman oozing sex appeal in a black bathing suit with blood red lipstick and high heels being pinned to the ground by the wrists by a bare-chested man while four other men in the background look with lust filled eyes. This Dolce & Gabbana fragrance advertisement sparked quite a debate in society as it depicted women as objects and glorified rape.

As the fashion industry continues to push the envelope to compete in the world of marketing, it blurs the line between risqué to plain offensive. Both these advertisements along with hundreds more highlight a recent trend in advertising and that is to sexualize and objectify women as mere sex symbols.

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Posted in: Issues