How Much Have We Changed In The Past 100 Years?
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Politics and Activism

How Much Have We Changed In The Past 100 Years?

A vintage advertisement caught my eye and made me question if times have changed.

How Much Have We Changed In The Past 100 Years?

Comparing our society today to the society of the 1920’s may seem like an unfair comparison. Of course we are so much better off than those people, right? We have iPads and electric cars! They couldn’t even compare to us, right? Well yes, technologically we are FAR more advanced. But maybe we ought to take a deeper look at how much we as American’s really have changed in terms of media and advertisements.

It wasn’t until recently when learning about the twenties that I recognized some factors of society then that are still prevalent for us today. This is a 1920’s Aunt Jemima advertisement titled “The Poor Little Bride of 1860”.

In this Ad a new wife tragically disappoints her husband because she can’t make pancakes the way he likes them. The story in the middle of the Ad states “And then—a near tragedy! She could not make good pancakes— her husbands favorite breakfast.” How TRAGIC. a HUSBAND… without his f***ing pancakes?!? ugh how heart breaking! Now, reviewing this Ad, I think anyone would clearly deem it sexist and point out it’s racist undertones with Aunt Jemima. No ad would ever be published today without an absolute uproar. We’ve changed so much since then… there’s no way we could still think this way… right? Maybe not… American Apparel is one example of a clothing line that clearly oversexualizes women. Here is one example of how they have done this.

In order to sell a TURTLE NECK… the company must sexualize this woman by posing her seductively and removing any view of clothing below the waist. They continue to use the sexual tactic in selling a body suit and leg warmers. They focus in on the models butt, groin, and breasts as opposed to taking a picture of the models full BODY in the BODY suit… or her LEGS for LEG warmers. If this kind of advertising is still so prevalent today, aren't we still objectifying women? Men’s cologne ads and beer ads are filled with half naked women in order to catch the eye of men. Why do we need to demean women to get a man to buy our product? Whether it’s pancake mix or Budweiser, the focus of advertisements remain on women’s bodies satisfying men.

But let’s give ourselves some credit, right? These sexist advertisements have not gone unnoticed. One hundred years ago nobody would second guess an advertisement aimed directly at a woman satisfying her husband. Controversies have been started, and women AND men demand their voices be heard over ridiculous ads ostracizing a certain gender (because yes, it does go both ways.) The changes we’ve experienced from the 1920’s to the 2010’s have been incremental, but not yet near revolutionary.

Through time we can make a difference, but we need to do it now. Let’s not waste anymore time overlooking the way the media portrays information, and let our voices be heard. It is 2016, not 1920, we should no longer stand for sexist ads and the sexualizing of our bodies unnecessarily. It is 2016, not 1920, we DO have a say in the ads that are displayed.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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