American Apparel has often come under fire for their risqué and provocative clothes advertising, but it seems they’re not alone in their use of sexuality in adverts.
As I previously stated in my post about Beyoncé, sex apparently is what sells everything. People respond to risqué adverts because they’re controversial and in this day and age, anything controversial immediately sparks interest. When sexuality or sexual innuendos are used to sell a product, they’re not just selling the product but the connotations of what the product will do for you. For example, in the Herbal Essences advert (and the Müller yoghurt adverts too, it just doesn’t stop. What’s so sexual about yoghurt?) Nicole Scherzinger’s provocative moans of “yes!! yes!!” give the idea that using the shampoo (and buying the yoghurt) will bring you intense pleasure.
Something feels unnecessary about the way these adverts are constructed. Surely we should want the product, or the clothes, simply for what they do and look like instead of the models wearing the clothes or the over sexualisation of the consequences of using the product?
In the case of the American Apparel ads, I almost feel as if they are exploiting the models by consistently using provocative positions to model the clothes. It also becomes apparent that the models are all young and slim. Surely the purpose of the adverts should be to model sell the clothes and not the bodies of the models? I mean after all, when the customers buy the clothes, they’re buying the clothes and not the way those clothes looked on the models. Or not looked, as a lot of the adverts showed topless women and no actual pieces of clothing in the shot.
I understand how using the naked or partially covered female body can be used as art or free expression of creativity to demonstrate the clothes artistically, but in order to primarily sell clothes as American Apparel’s main purpose should be, it seems like the clothes should be the focus.
When we use these methods to endorse products, we’re teaching the audience that this is what they respond to. People seem to forget that these adverts are viewable by anyone, not just the target audience. Young children, especially young women, are being conditioned to believe that posing like this way will make them appear more attractive or appealing and not for their own benefit.
It seems like from every angle women just can’t escape being over sexualised to make them more attractive for male and consumerist benefits.
Am I the only one who sees a problem here?