Every day, women and young girls are objectified and exploited across various mediums of media. Social media posts, movies, magazine ads, album cover art – women are used as an item to make a product more attractive to a consumer. The media plays into stereotypical sketches of women and their sex appeal, all for monetary benefits. With the rise of social media use in recent years, the exploitation of women’s bodies has only increased and begun to influence even younger generations.
The consequences of the objectification of women in media can be as serious as mental health influences and eating disorders. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this trending sexist model of feminism.
Take to social media
Social media is now the medium where girls are likely to experience the most exposure to the sexual exploitation of women. This goes even beyond the countless advertisements that companies utilize models to sell a product or service. Social media influencers are paid to portray a certain image to their followers. This is setting unrealistic expectations for girls on how they are meant to look or act.
Using social media as a platform to bring awareness to the sexualization of women is a small step that can leave a large imprint on the issue. It could potentially shed light on similar situations and offer a support platform for those who are victims.
Use your words
Women have been silenced for decades, often facing discriminatory comments and actions from misogynistic powerhouses. You have a choice to be a victim of exploitation or to stand up for your gender. There is power in numbers, and you may be surprised by how many other people are in your shoes. Luckily, there are plenty of feminist and women-centered organizations that seek out women to share their voices.
Take action against offenders
If you come across a hyper-sexualized portrayal of women in an ad or social media post, do something about it. Report the post, or petition and boycott the company. Enough people behind your movement will influence the decision-makers of the companies to take action. There are also several organizations that are focused on reporting and taking down offensive advertisements like these – they are easy to contact and operate off the support of individuals like you.
Promote a positive campaign
Awareness of the sexual exploitation of women is growing, and with it, many big-name brands are taking action. They are using their already established following and popularity to influence a body-positive outlook. Many brands are also straying away from photoshop in their ads and building popularity using real women with ‘flaws.’ Supporting brands who support women is an easy way to help put a stop to the exploitation of women in media.