By: Sarah Adell

I cannot believe that in less than a year I am going to be working in an industry that makes women feel like they have to look like a slut while eating a cheeseburger and the only way a girl can be beautiful is if she is emaciated and has an eating disorder.

Yes, sex and beauty may sell, but not at the expense of making women legitimately depressed and have no self-esteem. I cannot believe that women need to be photo shopped at all. What does this say about our society? Women are only beautiful if we look nothing like we actually are. That’s not shallow at all…

Girls have to be wearing minimal clothing and have huge boobs to promote a product. In most clothing brands advertisements, the models aren’t even wearing clothing. But, that’s not how you women present yourself in real life (at least I hope).

In my classes, I have watched the documentaries Killing Us Softly Four and Miss Representation, which critique the way our society harshly portrays body image and the negative outcomes because of it.

Most of us were raised with morals, that we are supposed to save ourselves for marriage and that your personality is what matters. If our advertisements show a young woman deep-throating a popsicle, naturally girls are going to think that this is how they are supposed to act. As long as they are being an object and are half naked all of the time, they are normal.

I hate today’s advertising. It does not have a fair representation of black females or homosexuality either. It shows extremely skinny, white women, when actually the average size of a female is a size 12. It is a complete distortion of reality and it makes girls feel hopeless that they can’t look or act like the women in advertisements.

I don’t know about you, but this is not something I stand for or want to be a part of. It actually really offends me. That is why I am an Advertising major, because I want to change body image in the media. As if the industry isn’t unethical enough by making people feel like they have to buy things they do not need to feel good about themselves, we’re going to have to tell people that they need to look a certain way to be normal too?

Hopefully, as future advertisers, you are well aware of the psychological affects that your advertisements will have on consumers. I hope that we can change the perception of beauty by showing people reality. We should not be promoting an unachievable fantasy lifestyle; we should be promoting the truth!


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.


  1. “Most of us were raised with morals, that we are supposed to save ourselves for marriage and that your personality is what matters.”

    Who the hell wrote this? Morals DON’T equal saving ourselves for marriage. Women have every right to have sex before marriage, and it shouldn’t be considered immoral. And I am really not appreciating the slut shaming vibe I’m getting from this article, as a woman who cares about women’s rights, this is really offensive and highly misogynistic. You bring up some points about how media isn’t doing a good job of portraying women, but you aren’t doing a good job of being an advocate for women when you’re downright shaming people for dressing like “sluts”. Women have the rights to dress anyway they want to, without people like you judging them just based on what they’re wearing.

    Also, one tip of advice for AdBuzz. You should consider revealing who’s behind each post, because a post like this, which is clearly written by one person with their own one-sided beliefs, can make the whole team look bad.

  2. Each one of our posts has the author’s name.
    I wrote the article to be controversial. I was commenting on my point of view. I was just stating what my morals were. I was raised with my religion to save myself for marriage and to appreciate people based off of their personality and not their looks. The article was meant to say that there are more ways to sell a product than promiscuous advertising and that the effects of body image perception in advertising is taking a toll on women.

    1. You didn’t have your name up before, though. I don’t know if it was done deliberately (since all the other articles on here seem to have the names) since you were trying to be so controversial. but thank you for putting a name to the article, this seems more credible now.

      However, you should’ve clearly stated that “you” where raised with those morals, because in the article you said “most of us were raised with morals, that we are supposed to save ourselves for marriage and that your personality is what matters”, and not “I was raised with morals…” You were not just stating what your morals were. You were enforcing your idea of morals onto others by saying “most of us”. Which is what really irked me. Slightly different wording, but a huge difference. As an advertising major, you surely understand that.

      I agree with you that the skewed depiction of women in media has a huge impact on women. I agree that advertising do a poor job of depicting women, too. But that’s not the idea I got from this article. This article just sounds like you’re expressing your personal grudge against women who dress a certain way. From the very first sentence you used the word “slut” in an extremely derogatory manner. Also, the way you phrased things in this article makes it sound like it’s so wrong for women to dress a certain way. I’m not going to go into details because it’s just such a huge issue, with slut-shaming and body policing (I suggest that you look these up if you aren’t familiar with the terms) which consequently lead to more serious issues like victim blaming and rape culture. Well, you talk about promoting truth and let me tell you the truth: some women enjoy dressing provocatively. Some women feel empowered when they dress in tight, revealing clothing. And you have no rights to judge them, no rights to call them derogatory names like “sluts”. Sure, you can “hope” that all the women out there present themselves like you do but this is a free country, and women have every rights to dress the way they want to without people like you looking down on them.

      It sounds like I’m giving you a lecture on gender studies 101 and if I’ve offended you, I am sorry. I also understand that I probably can’t change the way you think. I just want you to know that just because you don’t dress the way that’s mostly portrayed in the media doesn’t make you better than women who do. Also, I wish you could understand that in a professional setting, you probably shouldn’t use words like “slut” and assume that everyone else has the same ‘moral’ standards as you, because that’s not going to get you anywhere, no matter how ‘right’ you think you are with your beliefs.

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