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Essay on Sexuality in Advertising

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Sex is everywhere you turn. Victoria’s Secret is notorious for their ads that plaster billboards and the sides of buildings, featuring scantily-clad women suggesting an obvious sexual air. The bags you receive at Abercrombie feature half-dressed models, often two of which may be kissing or touching one another. These sexual images are far too present in the every day lives of young children, much younger than what used to be acceptable. Aside from this moral questionability, ads such as these often contain images of unrealistic body types, which exploit insecurity to make consumers use their product, the result of which can be dangerous to mental and physical health. Finally, when I see ads like the one to the right, and rack my brain trying to figure out how a shoe company could possibly make an advertisement that applies sexuality to the least sexual part of the body, I am forced to wonder if companies have gone too far? These ethical issues may leave you asking, “How can we allow this?” But the debate comes down to one major thing: they work. Sex sells. Corporate America spends millions of dollars devoted to studying the effectiveness of various types of advertising. The result of these studies is the discovery that sexuality in advertising can be, and has been, high on the list of effective forms of rhetoric. The success of rhetorical sexuality must outweigh the risks these companies take to go against those who find the use of sexuality a disturbing practice; it is worth it for these companies, and they constantly make sure of that. America loves sex.
When walking through the halls of my high school or the local mall, I remember seeing many of the girls carrying bag from their favorite stores; one of these popular stores is...


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...oes they will be sexy, they should. If a company that makes cologne can convince their male audience that if they wear this cologne, women will flock to their side and practically beg the boy to sleep with them, they should. It is the company’s job in society to provide competition, to provide the product that will be best-received by the consumers. The companies have created a healthy change in that they have developed the means to best appeal to their audience. The consumers have created an unhealthy change in that we allowed sex to become the focus of everything we buy or desire.


Works Cited
Bordo, Susan. "Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body." Ways of Reading 8th ed131-176.
http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/2008/07/vintage-ad-f-18.html
http://tophspeaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/levis.jpg
http://www.debonairmag.com/upload/Image/Puma.jpg


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