This ad created by Samsung attempts to sell a laptop by comparing the visually appealing curves on a woman’s body to the curves of the Samsung SF notebook. It suggests that a woman’s body is only beautiful if it is curved, and allows for the sexual objectification of women to sell their product. This campaign is highly problematic because it manifests a beauty myth and fantasy of women as objects.
This ad increasingly normalizes behaviour of the objection of women and allows for sexualisation and commodification of women’s bodies in defining their self-worth and value. These hyper-sexualised representations of women’s body skew the expectations of reality, and present women as passive objects and desiring sexual subjects by connecting their worth to their appearance and sexual desirability.
This ad shows that it is normative for the media to show women as sexual objects, and evaluates women on their worth and competence based on their appearance. The media’s insidious practice of objectifying bodies causes women to take an outsider view on the physical self and to continually assess their appearance in an effort to conform to cultural standards of beauty. Advertising reinforces popular cultural ideologies of the “perfect body”, which increases gender-based inequalities and injustices in the society.
Furthermore, this ad is occupied with a model that could be described as another example of the media’s ideal of beauty. It portrays the media’s ideal notion of a perfect body, with a young, naked, attractive, white woman. This model has a very slim body, no visible blemishes on her body and “perfect” curves. This enforces Naomi Wolf’s argument of beauty oppression, where contemporary female behaviour becomes a life filled with self-hatred, self-consciousness, physical perfection, and dread of lost control (Wolf, 1990). The contemporary beauty myth pressures women physically and psychologically to willingly submit to regimes of self starvation and cosmetic surgery to achieve the “flawless beauty”. This undermines women’s achievements and compels them to focus on their worth based on their appearance.
The new ad addresses society’s unattainable standards of beauty and the problematic nature of objectification. This ad represents all the negative connotation associated with the original ad, and demonstrates the harmful messages and standards used in advertising. By viewing women as passive and sexual objects, it degrades them and devalues them into objects that disregards all the accomplishment they have achieved to be based solely on their physical appearance.
I changed the Samsung logo to “Sex Sells” because it shows the harmful effects of advertising women as sexual objects. This creates a culture of acceptance and normative behaviour by objectifying women to sell a product, and increases intolerance for women who do not fit this societal norm. It disregards a woman’s evaluation and control of her own body in terms of her own health, wellness, achievements and desires. The caption, “why buy the computer when you could look at my body”, emphasizes the societal pressures of the”perfect body” and immense normative behaviour behind sexual objectification. This ad strongly challenges the exploitation and objectification of a women’s body because it reinforces a culture of acceptance for misogyny in media.
Instead of explaining the computer’s technology and functions, I used the box to address the societal attitudes to unattainable standards of beauty. This beauty myth undermines women’s achievements in the society and reduces their value to their physical appearance. Specifically, the culture of narcissism where women are taught to be desirable objects and men are taught that beauty is the ultimate quality of woman. This toxic social phenomenon does not end here, this further undermines the values of human relationships, beliefs (how we believe women should be treated), and the society at large.
I kept the original image of the woman because I want to emphasize that person’s worth, to any extent or decision, should not be determined by their physical appearance. I hope this image triggers a societal response to the injustices suffered by women and rejects societal standards of beauty that suggests a women’s body should not be a trademark for sexual desirability.
Wolf, N. (1990). The Beauty Myth. London: Chatto & Windus.