Is It Okay?

“Sex sells.”

This is a phrase I’m sure you are familiar with. In our culture, it’s true. Photos of half-naked people, both male and female, can easily sell a product. There are a billion examples out there, ranging from cologne to beer, and everything in between.

We know this. We understand this.

But is this okay?

Even from the time I was a child, I have felt uncomfortable around signs with women posing in bikinis as a marketing tool. I remember vividly all the beer signs my grandpa had in and around his store. Women would be laying on a beach with a much too small bikini, and though I couldn’t quite place why I felt uneasy about it, I knew that I didn’t like it.

At this point in my life, I have learned why I dislike this so much: it’s degrading and turns humans into sexual objects.

Anytime you consistently sexualize a human being, you slowly begin to turn them into an object. Suddenly, that girl is no longer someone’s daughter; she’s the woman with the (insert inappropriate language here). Or that man who is a good father turns into nothing but a (insert inappropriate language here).

Honestly, this wasn’t something I had thought about much until lately. A few months ago, while walking to my car, a guy drove by me and called out something sexual. In that moment, he didn’t see me. He didn’t see a girl who had just finished a day at work and who would be attending class that night to work towards a Master’s degree. He didn’t see that I had a loving family back home and good friends. He didn’t see me for anything more than that I was a woman. And that turned me into a sexual object.

If you’ve read my older posts, you know I stopped using social media a couple of months ago. Recently, I have begun using it again. And I have noticed the sexual nature of things so much more. I was scrolling through Instagram a few days ago and an ad popped up on my feed. The image for the ad was the one attached to this blog post. I understand it’s about saving money to travel and a girl on a beach does somewhat resemble traveling, but once again, there’s a young woman lying in a bikini to promote an ad. Couldn’t the ad have shown the woman happily sitting on the beach instead of lying there with a pouty face? Wouldn’t that have been effective too?

I’m not posting this as a way to attack our culture. I’m not attacking anyone or anything, actually. All I’m doing is posing the question: is this okay?

It’s time we start to think about what we put out into the world. Is it helping or is it hurting?

People may have a difference of opinion on this topic, and that’s okay. But personally, I think the world would be a much better place if we began to look into who a person is, instead of what they look like.

2 thoughts on “Is It Okay?

  1. Very interesting topic. Not an easy one to write about, so I admire that you did so. I was raised a gentleman. Ever since I was a little boy, I have felt that it is of the utmost importance to treat women with respect. Always. 100% of the time. Without exception. Women are not here to please us as men sexually, That is why I do not like the serialization of things in general, in our culture. Now, to be fair, I am a very passionate person. My poetry can sometimes have a passionate tilt…BUT, I never, ever objectify. I believe it is horrible disrespectful. I think men fail women by sexual-izing them. Men fail women by focusing more on their bodies rather than their brains/minds. Men fail women by feeling that women are supposed to please them sexually…or to live up to sexualized images/ideas that they see in pop culture and in porn. The fact is, we would be nothing if not for women. They are the stronger sex. They make the world go ’round, and are constantly having to fix things that we have damaged (on the micro level – a messy house – and on the macro level – wars). If pop culture focused more on the internal attributes of women (and people in general), the world would be a better place. Also, I notice that there is an American phenomenon of the sexualization of TV shows. All of the shows’ actors and actresses look like models, and the content always revolves around sex. The British shows have cast members that look just like “us”. I believe this sends a more positive message. Thank you for such a thought-provoking topic.

    Like

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