Advertising, Nudity and Body Image


If you are passing by EDSA, you can entertain yourself by looking at those huge billboards especially when the traffic is bad (which is basically all the time but that is entirely a different subject).  Advertisements of all kinds abound in the said highway, ranging from clothing lines to smart phones.  One sure way of getting attention (as I have observed) is to put up a huge billboard with models with varying degrees of undress, usually women.   Our generation has become so used to nudity that it doesn’t bother us anymore not that I am being prudish or irrationally conservative but my point is why do we have to advertise certain products that way?  Come to think of it, do you really have to show a person in his/her underwear in order to sell?  (For most, the answer is probably yes)  Have they run out of ideas to promote this clothing products aside from showing models in different state of undress?

What kind of message does this type of advertisements is trying to send across its audience?   That you have to be skinny and or have to have sculpted abs in order to look good in your undies.  This is more than just about modesty for me; there is also the issue of body image.  Young girls think that looking beautiful in the conventional way is so important that they starve themselves and practice self induce vomiting just so they can stay thin or lose weight.

media and body image

Women in skimpy clothing on “male” products advertisements also bothers the feminist in me.   It’s like they cannot promote a male oriented product without a women that seemed to look like an accessory to the product (think of an alcoholic beverage ad that does not involve a woman in revealing clothes, hard right?) .  It also seemed to be sending a message that says “get the product, get the girl”.

While I  am fully aware that it is the consumers choice whether to buy a product based on the content of its advertisements, marketers still hold a huge responsibility in the way they promote a product.  To be fair, there are also advertisements that have made positive impact on the society.

I wish marketing industry also try to sell their ideas in more creative and unconventional way.   It would be amazing to see an ad that does not only focus on the physical beauty but also celebrates inner beauty and confidence that comes from being comfortable in your own skin.


The advertising industry has some of the most creative minds in the world, I am sure they can find number of ways to promote a product without abandoning decency and morality.


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