by Lisa Kartos
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It has become incredibly overwhelming to witness the evolution of the marketing business. Disgustingly, sex certainly does sell. What person would see an ad like any one of these and thereby decide to not only waste their money on overpriced merchandise, but to actively contribute to the degradation and disrespect of her/himself? (And for that matter, who would even pose for the advertisement in the first place?) Even Apple, a company solely focused on technology and hardware is using a naked woman to exploit their sales. And since when does Apple even need any extra business to use a desperate ploy like sex to sell.
Advertisements were meant to give the consumer a description of the product they are selling. But most of these ads don't even give the slightest clue about what's for sale. Someone who was cast away at sea for the last twenty years may come back, see the Abercrombie & Fitch ad below, and think it was an agency for prostituion or who knows what. The ad gives no idea about what the store is even about, and even if you did know it was a clothing store, it showcases none of them.
Frankly, it is infuriating. Not just that these offensive pictures are plastered every and anywhere, but that we, as the American consumers, actually buy into it.
Sex used to withhold great sacristy. Now its nothing more than a cheap money-maker. I remember growing up watching "Friends". Rachel and Monica would be exchanging details of another new guy. And if they didn't sleep together on the first date, the guy wasn't really that great, or the date didn't go the way it should have. Whether I liked it or not, just watching those sitcoms or movies with poisonous underlying messages, shaped who I am today.
It's no secret that the more you are exposed to something, the more immune you are to it. Take the callous on your toe, for example. The first time your running shoe rubbed on that toe repeatedly, it opened up and hurt and burned in the shower. The second time, too, and probably the third. But as you continuously exposed that spot to that same condition, your skin grew thicker and tougher there, and now its calloused over; it doesn't bother you anymore. And sex exposure from the media is no different. The more we see it, the less it bothers us. Media has to become more risky, more racy, more shocking to get our attention, largely contributing to the increase in nudity and innuendos in advertising, movies, TV...everywhere. This old Cosmopolitan cover to the left looks worlds apart from the recent cover to the right. When you put them next to each other, you can really see how far we have allowed things to progress. Looking at the covers each in succession may not be as shocking, but thats how brainwashing works, supposedly.
Mary Kassian informs in her book Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild that, "according to research studies, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the average woman will expose herself to 3,956 hours of mass media this year" (2010). Out of one year, that will consume seven full months. She goes on to detail that if your daily intake of mass media is about average, including TV, internet, radio, and magazines, by the time you are sixty-five years old, you will have wasted forty years solid, all day, every day, hypnotized by media! That is staggering and sobering power many of us are not even aware of.
And think of our next generation.
In 2008, the movie 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' was released, with the target audience of young adults. The Motion Picture Association responsible for rating the movie argued over whether it should be rated NC-17 (no one 17 and under should be allowed) or R! (The movie was eventually rated R for "graphic nudity", among other reasons.) Even the movie poster suggests performing oral sex on one another. Talk about breaking barriers. Pornography used to be shameful, not romantically comical.
And yet, we remain unphased. Think of twelve and thirteen-year olds, how their brains and hearts are processing all of this sex-heavy information. And you don't have to go out of your way to see it. It's at the grocery stores, on family-time TV shows and commercials, billboards, etc. This media is influencing the next generation's values and views, not to mention our own. Being aware of this rampant issue is half the battle. Be careful not to fall for these marketing and media scams anymore. Give your money and time to something of worth. Don't let that callous grow over your intuition, but, "finally, dear brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things". (Philippians 4:8)
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