Advertising and the Affect on Teens and Young Women


I found these videos called Killing Us Softly.  Everyone – old, young, male, female, needs to watch this series and understand advertising’s implications on our teens’ and young women’s self-esteem.

There are 4 videos and I’ve linked them below.  Personally, I’m sick of female objectification.  Everywhere we look, women are turned into nothing more than sexual objects. I cannot go to a movie without seeing T & A.  Heavens, I just watched the Wolf of Wallstreet and I couldn’t get over all the naked women and the way they were treated as if nothing more than whores.  I am irritated by sexual innuendos everywhere we turn, especially from the men who supposedly love us, as well as the use of disgusting words and phrases to describe our body parts.  It irritates me that men feel they are entitled to sex with their wives simply because there is a ring on the finger.  I’m disgusting by men who think ‘No’ means “Yes’.

I can say I grew up with these unrealistic expectations to be classy during the day but become a slut in bed.  All, save for but one man in my life, treated me like I should be a sex slave to them.  Shut up and put out.

This same message is coming across loud and clear in the advertising directed at our teen girls.  Padded bras for 7-year olds?  Yes, they’re out there.  3-year olds wearing makeup for pageants?  High heel shoes for babies?  What in the hell are we teaching our young girls?  Be innocent, demure and sexual and thin as a toothpick.  If you’re not these things, you’re disgusting and fat and no guy will ever like you.

What a horrible, horrible message to send to our young female youth.

I implore you to watch the entire series below and then make your own mind to help our young women empower themselves not with sexuality, but with self-esteem.

Please note, the use of the following media is protected under the Fair Use Clause of the US Copyright Act of 1976 which allows for rebroadcast of copyrighted materials for the purpose of commentary, criticism and education.

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9 thoughts on “Advertising and the Affect on Teens and Young Women

  1. You’re preaching to the choir here. I’ve long been aware of objectification and I make it a point to tell both my kids when images are sinister or demeaning. Hearing my daughter make comments to her friends about “gross stuff” in ads makes my heart proud.

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  2. Interesting. I did a thesis on this in college, and I think I used this woman’s research. I remember cutting out an add and pointing out that she didn’t have pores. Luckily for me, I have a husband who tells me how beautiful I am every day, despite the lines forming around my eyes. I probably obsess over them more than he does.

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    1. I have to ask, even though he tells you how beautiful you are, does his eye ever stray? I know my hubby’s does even though he says he loves me. He compares me to his trusty old Ford and the young things are shiny brand new Ferraris. He knows he can’t afford the new model, but it doesn’t mean he can’t look. Riiiigght. My mom used to tell me, men will be men. I think that’s part of the problem is our acceptance of male derogatory and hypocritical behavior. How can a guy say “you’re the only one!” when his eye is on the new stuff strutting down the street?

      My oldest son has a pinup behind his bedroom door. Clearly the girl in the photo is an object of sexual desire. Why is that ok, to reduce humans to meat, especially women? I don’t think I’ll ever understand.

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      1. I’m sure he does, and I do too. I think it’s human nature to “notice” just like I would stop and look at a pretty piece of art. Now, I would not be overbearing about it, though. And when it comes right down to it, I know who I want to cuddle up with at night. I do agree thought, that piecing together different models to create an “ideal” woman (or man for that matter) is sending the wrong message to our youth. Even to older people.

        And by the way… you ARE beautiful. You are exactly the way God wants you, and I for one, love you exactly the way you are.

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  3. Excellent post and I just watched the whole lot. It’s startling to realise how many of those images I know and recognise and how little I thought of them and the implications of their messages until they were point out.
    Makes me sad.
    Scares me too.
    But the fact that people are slowly becoming more aware gives me hope.

    I just hope – and this is the part that scares me most – that I do a good enough job in explaining to my boys what is right and what isn’t. They’re so young and they are constantly bombarded by all these things. And they soak it up like a sponge. I won’t them to take in the right things. The good things. Where do I even start. 😦

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  4. A sad statement about America and the priorities we project through the media. Of course, I did laugh aloud at the line about people wearing “Budweiser caps” claiming not to pay attention to advertising at all.
    We can try to tune it out (I know I do) but it still affects us. How do I know? Because when I look in the mirror I see fat rolls and wrinkles instead of a healthy woman with a great smile and sparkling eyes. Sad but true.
    Thanks for sharing this, Jenny.

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    1. I feel the same, Sharon. I’m way overweight, I have age spots, my hair is thinning and graying. I’m not this ‘perfect’ image of beautiful. Why is it when men age, they become dignified, but when women age, we lose our beauty? I’ve heard far too many men (and women) say this. While my husband says he prefers me the way I am, I see his head turn when the young, pretty ones walk by. When I hear him say J. Lo. and Kaley Cuoco (“Penny” from Big Bang Theory) have big butts, I wonder what in the heck does he think of my butt which is twice their size. When his head turns at a beautiful young girl with long legs, big boobs and a tiny waist, I know what he’s thinking.

      But the part that gets me the most is the way women are treated like objects of male lust. Always. I don’t care what the guys say, their eyes are always looking at the ‘young and sexy’. Look at the derogatory terms men have for women’s body parts, and don’t get me started on the inuendo speak when a man is trying to be funny with his lady (girl peels a banana: “hey, baby, I have a banana you can eat.”) Ewww. How disgusting and disrespectful. Sadly, women, our young girls/teens are the only ones who can change this. We need to teach our little me’s that we are not object, we are not ‘sex’. We are people with feelings, emotions. We are not here to serve men. We need to teach our young mini me’s that we’re beautiful with real curves and pooey on those who think otherwise. We, in turn, need to teach our young men that women are not objects of their desire. Both girls and boys need to be taught about the beauty of relationships, bonding, and that sex outside of that is lacking and superficial. Will it ever happen? I don’t think so, at least not in my life time.

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      1. Jenny-
        I think we have allowed the media to use sex for sales for far too long. I get irritated about it because sex is designed by God to be a pleasure inside of a monogamous relationship. There’s nothing bad or shameful about it.
        To turn it into a joke and just another sport people entertain themselves with is wrong. Of course, I see girls being just as crass about it as guys and treating guys like sex objects. That isn’t the answer either.
        I don’t think it can be made right in our fallen world. Someday, though, we’ll get to live in God’s idea of Paradise, and sex won’t even enter our thoughts anymore.

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