#WomenNotObjects: Powerful Video Calls Out Major Brands for Objectifying Women

A powerful new video is calling out some of the world’s most well known brands for their objectification of females.

The 2.5 minute video, entitled “We Are #WomenNotObjects is gaining quick traction. It features a montage of ads that show women either scantily clad or in provocative poses all in the name of shameless promotion for a product.

Just as it has for decades, there’s no denying that sex continues to sell.

The images featured were those found through a Google search for “objectification of women.” They include an assortment of females using their bodies and their sexuality to sell everything from cheeseburgers and alcohol, to cologne and designer bags.

The initiative is the brainchild of advertising executive Madonna Badger, whose MO is to raise awareness as to why this type of advertising is problematic and to get ad agencies and marketers to stop objectifying women in their promotional initiatives.

Badger tragically lost her three young daughters and parents on Christmas morning in 2011, when her Connecticut home caught on fire. The video marks an effort to honour her children in highlighting how this type of age-old advertising can undermine the confidence and self-confidence of young women.

Badger is the co-founder and chief creative officer of Badger and Winters, an agency that works with brands like Avon, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, and Nordstrom. The agency has recently pledged not to objectify women in ads, or to airbrush them “to the point of perfection.”

Badger does admit, however, that she’s been guilty of breaking her own now rules in the past: she created the famously racy Calvin Klein ad campaigns in the 1990s with Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss.

But it’s not to the 90s anymore, and we’ve made major headway when it comes to everything from gender equality to celebrating ‘real bodies’ in ad campaigns. Hopefully, videos like this will draw attention to the growing cause for concern. The concern, of course, lies in everything from the very notion that sex is a quick (and unoriginal) go-to to sell otherwise unsexy products, to the pressure on young models and actresses to play into it (they have to pay their rent somehow; I’ve been there), to the way young girls interpret the racy ads and the inevitable expectations they represent.

At the time of writing, the video been viewed nearly 800,000 times, and has even been shared by the United Nations organization, UN Women, with its 860,000 Twitter followers.

Let’s hope the advertising agencies will jump on board.

Watch for yourself below: