Being sexy is one thing both men and women alike have the right to do, even if they choose to do so for others. But exploiting certain body parts, that in return, dehumanize another human being? Not so sexy.
Yet this is how ads, fashion or for a product, in mainstream media almost always depict women at an alarming higher rate than men. And it shows.
Girls as young as preschool age are exposed to images such as these and, according to Psychology Today, it takes a huge toll. Studies have shown that the objectification of women in mainstream media correlates to the alarmingly high rate of eating disorders, body dysmorphia disorder, body image anxiety and depression among women. Girls and women internalize these messages as what society deems beautiful and equates that with their self worth.
As Ms. Magazine's Caroline Heldman wrote: "Pop culture sells women and girls a hurtful fiction that their value lies in how sexy they appear to others; they learn at a very young age that their sexuality is for others. At the same time, sexuality is stigmatized in women but encouraged in men. We learn that men want and women want-to-be-wanted."
In other words, men aren't shamed for wanting to be sexual, women are. Though the media uses women's bodies, because sex sells, if women acts on those actions, society ostracizes them.
Taking these factors into consideration, media site Take Part decided to flip the script. It took fashion ads clearly objectifying women and replaced the women in those ads with men.
The difference is startling and hopefully a wake-up call to change.
Here are just a few of the many ways women are objectified along with a guy's version.
Detaching chests from bodies for other's viewing pleasure.
Flashing private areas.
Teasing their assets, literally.
And treating them like goods to be bought.
Here's to a better future, where the only thing brands sell is products, not parts.