Stop Selling My Body: #WomenNotObjects

by Kaleigh Wright

Since 2014, Madonna Badger of the ad agency Badger & Winters has been fighting for women with the campaign Women Not Objects. With a mission to end the harmful objectification of women in advertising, WNO has began making a stir across social media with the hashtag #WomenNotObjects.

Last week, they posted a new video called #IStandUp, asking for people to stand up against the objectification of women in the media. The heartbreaking video shows girls questioning and mutilating their bodies after being influenced by these harmful messages the media puts forth.

WNO first came into the spotlight last year when Badger’s agency released a video of women holding sexist ads and making sarcastic comments about the way they are being represented. Like the women holding this ad for Post-It notes claiming, “I love sleeping with guys that don’t know my name.”

sexy ads post it jadeImage via Post-It

We’ve all seen it, so many times a day that we don’t even notice, women being sexualized and objectified to sell anything from cars to burgers. Not only are they reduced to objects of sexual desire, but often times these ads perpetuate domestic violence and sexual assault. It has become such a norm of our society that the immense harm objectification causes girls and women has been completely left out of the conversation.

adImage via ValentinoWhether we like it or not, the media controls the thoughts and norms of our society. When women are displayed as objects, to be used by whoever makes a purchase, we are ingraining that into the minds of the viewers, many of whom are children. Unrealistic bodies plastered all over the magazine racks and TV commercials tell girls from an extremely young age what their bodies should look like, even if those goals are unattainable because they were produced on a computer screen. Girls grow up to learn that the only thing that matters is their bodies and boys grow up to learn that they can use those bodies however they please.

Badger’s agency has pledged to end their contribution to the problem. Before the agency publishes an ad campaign they check it against 4 filters: Is the woman used as a prop? Has she been retouched beyond accessibility? Has she been reduced to body parts? What if she was your mother, wife, child, or you?

Badger may only be one woman, at the head of one agency, but by taking this enormous, what could have been career-ending step, she has made a small hole in the intricate fabric of consumer shaming and objectification. It is up to the rest of us to stand behind her and tell the media that we will not be diminished to body parts.

suitsupply4Image via Suit SupplyWNO asks that if you see a sexist, objectifying ad that you post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WomenNotObjects or email it to [email protected] and they will add it to the collection on their site.


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