*Warning* – Indecent image is included in this blog
I’ve been teaching my AP students using advertisements this past week. They were analyzing various ads for rhetorical appeals (ethos / pathos / logos) and strategies (juxtaposition / metaphor / etc). In upcoming lessons, we will be reviewing gender stereotypes.
I subscribe to a variety of magazines (at no cost thanks to frequent flyer miles since I never accumulate enough with any one airline to actually fly anywhere for free) that I use from time to time for projects in my classroom. This week, I received the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in the mail. Usually I would just throw out that magazine since it’s not quite classroom appropriate. However, since I knew that we would be reviewing gender stereotypes in my classes in the upcoming weeks, I thought I might find some advertisements that could work for the topic of gender stereotypes in that magazine.
And boy was I right. Every single ad used a woman to sell something. I expected this, but unfortunately, the ads are so hyper sexualized that I do not plan on using them with my students.
Once I came across this picture at the end of the issue, I felt prompted to write a little blog about it. Sorry for the nudity, but here is the image:
Of course I agree that a woman deserves respect no matter what she is wearing. Everyone deserves respect simply because each and every one of us is a human being who has worth. But feminists are taking things way too far.
This woman’s top is so contradictory.
Here are my naked breasts for the world to see. But please, respect me.
I’m dressed like I want to f***, but please, don’t come on to me too strong.
Does she deserve to be raped? Of course not. Nobody ever deserves to be raped. But does it look like she’s eager for sex? Of course.
How is it that modesty has attained such a negative connotation?
I’ll be honest. If I see a girl wearing that at the beach, I will automatically pass judgment on her. I try my best to avoid judging people, but I’m human. These would be my initial thoughts:
-Are there children around? That woman is practically naked!
-She must be really easy
–I bet she has slept with tons of men
-I’m sure all of the guys must be checking her out
-How can she wear that and not feel overexposed?
And the list goes on. Now, I am a female. I can’t even begin to imagine what the guys would be thinking. It’s proven, after all, that men are much more visual than females.
It’s one thing to be proud of your body and another to simply be indecent. I work out quite a bit. I’m proud of my body, but I also respect myself.
Sure, her shirt says that other people should respect her, but the problem here is that she isn’t respecting herself. She’s turning herself into an object of sexual desire.
I understand that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is about all that, but I am so frustrated that any company even made a swimsuit top like that.
If we want men to treat us like ladies, then we must dress like ladies. Showing our goods to the world is not showing respect to ourselves or those we come into contact with.
I’ll be the first to admit that although my faith is strong, I struggle with modesty during the summer. I like wearing short shorts and tank tops when it’s hot out. I like bikinis rather than one-piece bathing suits.
I’m not calling for women to dress like they did in the early 1900s.
And yes, I am aware that that girl is a model. It is her living to flaunt her body, but I wonder if she really believes that message written across her naked chest. Does she really believe that she will be respected by men (or women, for that matter) when dressing like that?
Let’s show ourselves some respect by covering up a bit. Don’t you ladies want to keep part of your bodies a mystery, only exposing it to the one you love? Do you really want every random person at the beach ogling you?
Women complain about cat calls and being stared at, but guess what? If you wear that top, you’re basically asking for it. You’re saying, hey, boys, check me out. I’m sexy and I know it. Wanna take me home? I know I’m beautiful and I want everyone here to know it. Look at me. Do you like what you see?
But you’re thinking, Do you they like what they see? Am I hot enough? Am I curvy enough? Am I muscular enough? Do they like me? Do they think I’m beautiful? How many men I can get to stare at me?
Because I find that women who dress like this often have the lowest self esteem. They find their worth in the approval of men. They think that by getting a guy to stare them down, they will find true happiness and fulfillment.
It’s sad, really.
So please, ladies, show yourself some SELF-respect and maintain some level of mystery about you, which will attract the right guys, who want you for more than just your appearance.