We all know that sex sells—and not just lingerie and high heels but handbags, pickup trucks, and even burgers. And by sex, we mean women’s bodies, displayed in overtly explicit ways that make us cringe. But a new video from the ad agency Badger & Winters is asking if there isn’t a better way.
Madonna Badger, the CEO of the company, has created a viral YouTube video called “We Are #WomenNotObjects” that shows the multitude of times women have been seen as sexual objects to promote a product. There’s a Burger King promotion that shows a woman with red lipstick holding her mouth open to eat a sandwich (tagline: “It’ll blow your mind away”) and a Balmain ad showing sweaty models in a giant heap groping each other. The voiceover says, “I love giving blowjobs to sandwiches,” and “I hope when my daughter grows up that she has friends just like these.” At the end of the video text reads, “I am your mother, daughter, sister, co-worker, manager, CEO. Don’t talk to me that way.” Watch for yourself:
Badger told The Wall Street Journal that she made the video after she searched for “objectification of women” on Google. Her agency, which works with brands like Avon and Vera Wang, has now vowed to never create an ad that demeans or objectifies a woman. “I want my life to have a purpose,” Badger said. “I love my job but I don’t want to do it if it hurts anyone.” Badger also says that her company will work to do less airbrushing of the women in its ads. Bravo to all of this—we need to see women depicted as smart and empowered in commercials. Because that’s who we are in real life.