Today is International Women's Day, so it's rather appropriate to ask ourselves, as an industry, whether we are actually taking gender equality seriously. Badger & Winters say we're still part of the problem, not the solution.
Badger & Winters is an advertising, branding and design agency specialising in communicating to women, who have worked with have worked with some of the most important brands in the world: Avon, Chanel, Coty, Cover Girl, Diane Von Furstenberg, Godiva, Pepsi, P&G and Vera Wang. They've announced the launch of WomenNotObjects.com as well as a new video named "#IStandUp".
"This is a call-to-action for people to stand up for themselves."
As a follow-up to their initial "We Are #WomenNotObjects" video, Badger &Winters created #IStandUp to highlight the well-documented harms of objectification. #IStandUp is a call-to-action for people to stand up for themselves, their sisters, their future daughters, their co-workers, or whomever they want. Viewers are asked to post videos of themselves standing up on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr and tag their friends to do the same.
"This is not a theoretical discussion, it is one that is supported by scientific data."
"This is not a theoretical discussion, it is one that is supported by scientific data. When companies objectify women in their advertising and content, they're teaching young girls, just as they are understanding their place in the world, that looks are more important than who you are, how you feel and what you can do. And young boys are getting the message that girls are to be judged on how they look - nothing more," said Madonna Badger, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Badger & Winters.
"The more young girls use Facebook, the greater the chance of anorexia."
Quotes about the harm of Objectification of women from Leading Experts, Universities and Studies: From a study at the University of Haifa, it was reported that the more time girls spent on Facebook, the more they suffered conditions of anorexia, bulimia, poor body image, negative approach to eating and more urges to be on a weight loss diet. According to a study by Mellin LM, Irwin CE & Scully 'Disordered eating characteristics in girls', 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
What's more, in Frederickson and Roberts' (1997) 'Objectiﬁcation theory: Toward understanding women's lived experiences and mental health risks' women in western cultures are often sexually objectified in media as well as reduced to a body, or just a body part, available for satisfying the sexual needs and desires of other people.
"They would no longer participate in creating imagery that objectifies women by treating them as props."
On January 26th, Badger & Winters announced that they would no longer participate in creating imagery that objectifies women by treating them as props, plastic or sexual body parts.
The announcement was launched with a video compilation of advertising images objectifying women found on Google. The video went viral and touched a nerve that is creating a tipping point on the subject of objectifying women in advertising. The video has been viewed more than 2 million times in 152 countries, it has garnered more than 600 million media impressions and over 55,000 social mentions.
"What began in January as the agency's decision to stand up and say no-more to advertising that objectifies women, has led to a global conversation on the subject and has now become a movement. Honoring my daughters with this programme has brought greater purpose to what my agency does each and every day," said Badger.
Badger lost her three daughters in a tragic fire in 2011.