Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sex, Beauty, and Advertising

     I was particularly interested in the topic of "Sex Advertising" by guest speaker Jacqueline Lambiase this week. Advertising surrounds us all the time, but I had not really considered the way sexual appeal is used in advertising.  Although I have identified certain commercials as being sexual before, I never realized how it could affect brand recall or even how people view sex itself. The statement "sex sells" is so true, and taboo or not, it is part of our nature. From an advertising standpoint the use of sexual images and innuendo seems almost to cancel itself out.  If an image captures someone’s attention but does not make them remember the product, then the advertisement has only done half its job. As a student who hopes to have a career in the arts and entertainment, I feel these concepts run concurrent with my future.  My close study of the conception of beauty as a result of advertisement is also closely related to this idea. 

    Because products, television, billboards, and commercials surround us all the time they have such a commonly unacknowledged potential to affect people's perceptions.  Advertisements set the standard for beauty, love, creativity, social standing, and of course, sex.  I feel that people don't realize the power images and products have over the way society is shaped since the constant flux makes it seem as though it is a numb process. However, without our realization, these pictures are affecting us with things as simple and primal as sex. Although I try and be aware of the things that I am surrounded by and how they affect me, this class and presentation have made me realize there are still many ways the media affects me that I still have not realized. Because sex can be more taboo in comparison to beauty and gender I feel that these issues in advertising are not as well discussed.  Although we may find ourselves surrounded by sexual images I am more likely to comment on a commercial I find to be sexist and offensive than something I find to have lots of sexual innuendo. This lack of discussion and communication is yet another problem in a world full of media.

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