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Fragmental display of women’s bodies in advertisements encourage the objectification of their bodies. It is not news that the media highlights and glorifies  slender legs, perky breasts, and when this happens we disconnect the body from the individual because it becomes sexualized. Also, when these are the only kinds of bodies being celebrated (or objectified), it encourages others that do not look like that to feel uncomfortable in their bodies.

What is broadcasted on media are images and ideas which have been influenced by the beauty myth. Flawless skin, thin stature and all the other components of beauty as set by society. The standards of beauty as portrayed in media are impossible to achieve since the models have been transformed into these images through some technical means. However, there is an incredible amount of damage to women especially young girls who are growing into themselves.

One of the reasons that there is so much exploitation of women through media is the fact that media products are established through the male gaze. We are bombarded with images of sexualized women, and we do not even realize it. We are blind to this because the concept of sexualizing women and their bodies have been normalized.  The objectification of women is introduced at a real part of life for all of us and usually comes off as simple images and blows up into dominant depictions of women that are degrading and overall promote sexual violence. For example, in Coca-Cola ads, there have been women in their images which may seem harmless, but the picture focuses on the lips of the women rather than showcasing her as a whole person. Why aren’t men displayed this way for the same kinds of products? Normalizing the idea that women are passive and sexual objects often translate into today’s acts of gendered violence.

When we normalize images of women as sexual objects, we are also encouraging some men to see them and treat them as such. Dangerous attitudes in boys and men begin to develop, and the results lie in the way women are treated and perceived and almost creates a sense of entitlement from men to a woman’s body.

Everyone is affected by these exploitative images, as they reinforce the narrative of sexual objectification that women interiorize. The way women’s bodies are portrayed in media is indicative of the society’s general view and treatment of women. I believe that we can change this narrative and pave the way for a more empowering and intersectional view of women.

Jahaira is a double major in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies and a campus correspondent for the Her Campus chapter at Wells College. 
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