As a marketing strategy, Hornet Signs, an automobile sign and decal company in Waco, Texas, placed an image on the tailgate of a truck that gave the appearance that there was a rope-bound (hands and feet) blond woman wearing a pink shirt and jeans lying tied up in the bed of the truck. The truck was driven around town to advertise and attract business for the company.
This 2014 short film made and released by The Guardian, a British news outlet, shows Guardian editor Harriet Gibsone satirically listing the ways one can become a famous female pop star in order to highlight pressing issues pertaining to women and gender inequality, such as overt sexual objectification, male domination, limited feminism discussions, pay inequality, and ageism. Gibsone presents her argument in a serious tone, although the picture inserts and sound effects are comedic. In suggesting absurd things such as using a “man to help you pen a song about your body” to create a “defining” song, or “going on Twitter and slag someone off…ideally another woman,” Gibsone uses sarcasm to criticize the overt emphasis on the hyper-sexualization of the female body and the woman-eat-woman mentality emphasized in the public realm when it comes to female celebrities and pop stars. Through this satirical video, she is not actually telling viewers to do these things; she is pointing out and discussing a culture that promotes this behavior. Although this video was originally made for British audiences, viewers around the world are prompted to consider pop stars in their countries and compare these themes of confining gender roles and the “recipe for success” outlined in the video.
Above is an excerpt from “How White Feminism can look just like sexism,” a comic created by graphic artist Alli Kirkham to address how many of the same arguments people use to dismiss the value of feminism are used by White feminists to dismiss the value of addressing race and racism. In a series of side-by-side frames, she shows two people talking to illustrate statements criticizers use to argue against, dismiss, or minimize the experiences and values of feminists, and compares it with another frame that shows how the same white feminists say similar kinds of things to people of color about race and anti-racism.
This is the 2005 music video for "I Am Not My Hair," by singer India Arie. It is a remix featuring singer Akon, and is the official single for the song. In the song, Arie and singer Akon describe various hairstyles they have had throughout their lives and how those styles have impacted how others reacted to them. After a lifetime of being evaluated based on her hair, Arie decides that she is not her hair, that's "it's not what's on your head, it's what's underneath." She calls for others to share in this sentiment. According to Arie, the song was originally imagined as a duet featuring singer Pink and inspired by Pink's decision to stop dying her hair. Arie has also described being inspired to write the final verse after seeing singer Melissa Etheridge perform on the Grammy Awards with her head bald from chemotherapy cancer treatments.
This video uses contrasting shots to show what it would look like if men were asked to play the same kinds of hypersexualized and objectifying roles women are asked to portray in advertisements. For each commercial featured in this video, men are placed in the same positions and roles as the women in the original commercials, and the images are framed side-by-side or back-to-back for comparison. For example, one of the commercials is fast food chain Hardees and Carl’s Jrs.’s charbroiled Atlantic cod fish sandwich ad, which features an attractive female model eating the sandwich in a string bikini on a tropical beach. She poses suggestively as she eats the sandwich, and there are several close-up shots of various parts of her body, including scenes of her spraying herself down with tanning oil in the heat. Each suggestive pose and action is mimicked in a side-by-side comparison with a similarly dressed man posing, eating, and spraying himself down in the same ways, with the same beach background. The video is meant to point out the discomfort, humor, or ridiculousness we see in portraying men in this kind of hypersexualized and objectifying way, and prompts viewers to consider why it is “normal” and acceptable that women are so frequently represented this way in ads and media. With the tagline “more than a piece of meat,” this video was published in 2014 and created by BuzzFeed, a media, news, entertainment, and reporting website that crafts content that can be easily shared and spread through social media.