21st Century Norm: Female Sexualization

Within the last decade or two, sexualization of females is something that we have become too familiar with to the point where it is simply a normality. This ranges anywhere from advertisements for fast-food chains to celebrities and influencers on social media. Not to mention, these public formalities do not just have an impact on adults, but also youth of all ages. For women and girls, it gives them a false reality of what they need to set as standards for themselves while for males it typically seems to not only raise their standards for women, but also their expectations. Now, for some men and women this is not the case and they may not have these same types of expectations. However, youth can be subject to the influence of the normalization of sexualization and studies continue to see what the effects are. The APA (American Psychological Association) has had articles published that discussed how sexualization of girls is linked to their mental health whether it be an eating disorder, depression, etc. while another organization called Unicef USA argued how sexualization of women is a large contribution to normalizing sexual violence. Unicef USA even mentions that a study showed that data from 30 different countries reveals that only 1% of girl’s youth reach out for help that have endured forced sexual violence.

When it comes to the art of advertising, marketers do not fail to prove that “sex sells”. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, sexualization of women can be even be found in advertisements that are for a fast-food chain. This particular food-chain is Carl’s Jr. There is one advertisement that even I can remember from when I was 12 years old that struck me about how women were sexualized. This would be the commercial from 2012 where it featured Kate Upton eating one of their South West Pattie Melts. As I’ve grown older, I begin to notice that a majority of commercials and advertisements are generally the same; involvement of a female celebrity and task of making her desirable. This sexualization of woman has become so normalized that it makes me question if there is any way to stray away from the negative affects it has on society.

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Madelyn Huss

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