A few nights ago as I was impatiently waiting for the commercials to finish and a new episode of Mad Men to premiere, I was caught off guard when I saw the Kia Cadenza ‘Reunion’ Commercial. I was shocked at the explicit objectification of the woman in the commercial. The commercial unequivocally equated the woman with the car, and I seemed to be the only one in the room who noticed or cared.
“Did you see that?” I shouted at my mom and boyfriend.
“No what?” They answered half asleep.
“Kia just compared a woman with a car. I don’t get it. Why are women being paired with cars in the 21st century? I thought our so-called modern society was beyond thinking of women in terms of objects and degrading them to men’s toys.”
“What?” My mom exclaimed, obviously missing my point. “You’re just looking at it the wrong way. All the commercial is saying is that the car is like the girl you didn’t recognize in high school, but who is now impossible to ignore.”
The premise of the ad is a “girl you didn’t notice in high school” goes to her 20 year class reunion, pulls up in a Kia, steps out and stuns her male, former classmates. Of course you can skim over the commercial and think its just harmlessly saying that both the car and woman are “impossible to ignore” (which is the tagline for the ad) with their stunning attractiveness.
But, if you truly dissect the commercial it is really “impossible to ignore” the fact that it is demeaning this attractive woman to the status of an attractive car. Both are portrayed in the commercial as “luxury objects” that are highly desirable and coveted by men. The car and the woman are in a sense a man’s play things that he wishes to possess. When viewing this commercial and any car commercial that specifically attempts to sell its product by throwing a beautiful woman in the mix, I cannot help but think that its producers are saying to the male viewer “you can have in your possession both the car and the girl for your own pleasure and use.” I mean you can practically take them both home, store them, keep them nice and clean, and then take them out whenever you want to drive them. Right? Now, I am starting to understand why cars and women go so well together, and why women are used so ubiquitously in car commercials, even in our “current, progressive” society. Of course, I am being sarcastic. Present day car advertisements need to stop objectifying and sexualizing women since it is 2013 not 1950.
Shockingly, car advertisements are not the only advertisements that have gone too far in objectifying human beings. Even more astonishing is the fact that women are now not the only gender that is being sexualized and demoted to the status of an object. Sadly, men are currently being equated with bottles of dressing. I mean men should be entirely outraged that they are being compared to dressing. A woman being devalued to the worth of a car is bad enough, but a man being associated with a three dollar bottle of dressing is just inhumane.
The new ad for Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing has stirred controversy not because of its explicit objectification of this very sexy man to a bottle of dressing, but mainly due to it being a little too spicy. Kraft’s advertisement whose tagline is “let’s get zesty” depicts a man with a strategically placed picnic blanket that protects his goods and has the bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing placed next to him with care.
I do have to admit that this Kraft advertisement with its line of “let’s get zesty” really makes me think of how men are just like bottles of spicy dressing. I mean you keep them both stored in a nice, cool place and then whenever your ready to use them all you have to do is just shake them well, and you will get just the right amount of zest and spice you need. I am sure my boyfriend would appreciate it if I told him how much he resembles a bottle of dressing. Too bad he does not come with a shake well to use label, I guess that is already implied, though.
Puns aside, I just think that these advertisements in which attractive men and women are being sexualized and equated with objects that we use in our daily lives is a tad bit inhumane. I do not become completely outraged when I see these advertisements, but I do think about what the advertisers are trying to do and see the wrong in it. I just hope that eventually advertisements will stop degrading good-looking men and women to objects and actually value them as human being.