Objectification is basically defined as the process where people are viewed and treated as objects. I don’t view myself as an object or wish to be treated as a object. I don’t believe any woman or even men want to be viewed or treated as an object, but in the fashion world this is normal. According to the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, NOMAS:
Objectification [is] portrayals of women in ways and contexts which suggest that women are objects to be looked at, ogled, touched, or used; anonymous things or commodities to be purchased, perhaps taken; and once tired of, discarded, often to be replaced by a newer, younger edition; certainly not treated as full human beings with equal rights and needs.
In society women are most often the targets of objectification. This is because woman are more valued for their appearance. If you’ve ever been on a dating site as a woman then you know that you’re only as valuable as the way you look, or your sex appeal as determined by the man that’s messaging you. Its not different walking down the street. A man doesn’t look at a woman walking down the street and decides he wants to talk to her because she looks like she might have a nice personality. He’s looking at the way she’s dressed and her sex appeal. This is why women spend way too long trying to find that perfect outfit to go on that first date because I don’t know a woman that will just throw on a pair of jeans and t-shirt and decide that’s how she’s going out on her date.
I can relate, even to this day, if I have a dinner party to go to, or a girl’s night out, you’ll hear me more often than not saying I have nothing in my closet even though I have tons of items of clothes to wear. I’d have no problem putting on any outfit at any other time but because its a special occasion, I want to look nice and suddenly have nothing to wear. So why do we do this to ourselves?
The problems with objectification is obvious when you think about it. It results in the mistreatment of women when they are used as means to an end (often for sexual gratification) rather than respected and treated with dignity as whole. But there are also deeper concerns. When women are objectified, they are necessarily dehumanized.Though not directly the cause of it, objectification enables an environment where violence against women is okay and permissible. Objects, after all, do not have feelings or deserve fair treatment and respect.
Look at fashion. I decided to look up ads promoting clothing. I was deeply disturbed. We all know sex sells but more often than not women’s breasts and butts are used to sell clothing.
I’m not in the least saying that showing off your body is bad, in fact all women should feel that they can show their bodies and feel free to express their sexuality whatever way they want. I’m all for empowering women, but what I don’t understand is why it has to be used to sell products than expressing their sexuality. Women should feel free to express their sexuality on their own terms not so that individuals will buy a piece of clothing.