Exploitation of the Body in Commercials: Male vs. Female

Last week, I was in the library with my friend, working on some Spanish homework while my friend was writing a paper about advertising and subconscious messages in advertisements, when one of our guy friends came in the study room we rented. We started to have an innocent conversation about random things and my friend brought up the topic of her paper, and somehow that turned into a whole argument about women in advertising between the three of us.

Our argument was that when women are used in advertising, it can be to an unnecessary and extreme point/level, as this commercial blatantly supports.

When me and my friend watched this video, we felt uncomfortable, but our guy friend was all for it, of course. I showed them this video, but our guy friend felt uncomfortable. His words were, “guys aren’t supposed to do that,” referring to the zesty guy wearing the cooking apron and the maid apron, as well as the “showing a little leg.” He didn’t understand that’s how we felt about the girl in the tiny bikini barely eating a burger and being oogled at for 30 seconds as advertisement for Hardee’s. At least with the Kraft Zesty dressing commercial, the tone was light-hearted and sexualized in a comical way. For the Hardee’s commercial, the tone was over-sexualized and made me and my friend uncomfortable. Like, I legitimately felt dirty after watching. I just wish some guys, (like my friend), would see the extreme sexualization and exploitation they’re (sub)consciously advocating.

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