With the rise of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, misogynistic attitudes toward women have been thrown into the spotlight as we’re reminded that women are still being objectified and devalued, and that many people in America believe it’s perfectly fine for a presidential candidate to do so. Thanks to a new film from a campaign called #WomenNotObjects, we’re being confronted with the messages that lead to those anti-woman thought patterns and behaviors.
Madonna Badger recently debuted a powerful short film during a presentation called “Sex, Lies and Advertising” at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Badger is the chief creative officer at Badger & Winters, and has been a major advocate for putting an end to objectifying, sexualized advertisements of women. In showing the film at the festival, Badger’s goal was to reveal the disturbing affect that seeing sexualized ads can have on a demographic that is seldom considered: kids.
Part of Badger’s presentation included a chapter called “What Our Kids See”, and she revealed to the audience that the film had exposed children to “ads easily seen by anyone” to get their reactions. Badger also noted, “[We got] the permission of their mothers, which we don’t have everyday.” The results were shocking, and seeing what the kids had to say will definitely have you thinking.
You can watch the film below:
Badger, who has been in advertising for a long time, even revealed that she had once been guilty of the practice she’s now fighting against. She said:
“I’ve been objectifying women for a long time. This is not about blame or shame or any of that stuff.”
Because many brands will argue that objectifying women sells products, Badger was quick to dispel that myth. She said, “You know what sex sells? Sex. It actually hurts our brands.” To back that up, Badger cited a survey of 2,700 consumers aged 18 to 74 conducted by Badger & Winters that proved that sexualized ads were “disastrous to brand reputation and extremely damaging to purchase intent. People don’t want to buy whatever we are trying to sell.”
For Badger, putting an end to objectifying ads is a crucial step toward women achieving equality once and for all. She said:
“For every boy to learn that every girl is his equal … this is the future I’m fighting for.
There’s lots of talk of gender equality, but stopping objectivization has no gender, just as great strategy, respect and dignity have no gender.”
Many have tried to discourage Badger, insisting that objectification-free advertising will be impossible to achieve. However, Badger is dedicated to her cause.
“Real change happens when people come together and take a stand.”