Let’s objectify women to promote organ donation!

19 05 2009

Re-Born to be Alive Organ Donor Foundation has this ad out to promote organ donations:

organ donor

There are several stupid things about this ad:

1. Working for or promoting a good cause (organ donation) does not grant you the license to use whatever means you want to market the cause.  Sexualizing, objectifying and commodifying a woman to promote organ donations is not acceptable.  It’s just sexist.

2. Donating one’s organs is an act of compassion and altruism, which are two good qualities.  You don’t need to have a sexy almost naked lady to encourage people to do good acts that help someone who is in need, to do good acts that can save people’s lives.  But of course, a sexy almost naked lady is more marketable than kindness and compassion.  Sickening.

3. This ad does not make sense.  Is it supposed to suggest that donating your organs is just like having sex?  …Because it’s actually not.  Not at all.

4. Like many other ads, it promotes ultra thinness as the ideal.  Having an ultra thin sexy woman as the face for this organ donation campaign reinforces a hierarchy of bodies (in which skinny is at the top) seems to suggest that only these bodies (super skinny and therefore sexy ones) deserve critical organ donations which can save lives.

5. This is condescending and insulting to men (who are obviously the targeted audience) because it assumes that menfolk will do anything if there’s a sexy almost naked (or fully naked) lady around.

6. Organ donations have nothing to do with sex and almost naked ladies, so don’t make it about that!!!!


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4 responses

19 05 2009
feministfeera

And you almost certainly won’t convince many women to donate organs. This ad is clearly directed towards straight men, not even queer women, as it uses euphemistic language to not just imply sex, but specifically penile-vaginal sex.

BOO.

19 05 2009
queerofcolor

Wow. This is disgusting. Perverted, really.

30 08 2009
AdvertiseTheWayYouWant

I do not see a problem with this advertising campaign to use a sexy woman. It is better than seeing an alcohol ad with a sexy woman in it. At least this is a good cause. I also do not see how this woman is being objectified. It is not like this is porn. It is the exact same thing as if she was wearing a bathing suit, which women willingly and openly wear out in public in front of strangers.

Also, as a woman, I just found it humorous. Obviously, no man is going to take this advertisement seriously. Someone would have to be a numb skull to really think that only sexy women get organs when they are donated.

Also, this ad does not suggest sex is exactly like donating organs. It is obviously saying that in sex, a man puts his penis into a woman’s body, and in donating organs, your organs go into someone’s body. Obviously not the exact same thing, Just similar to.

I also would not say that this woman is ultra thin. She looks like a normal, healthy weight. I am so tired of everyone thinking that being thin is so unhealthy and disgusting. When, in fact, it is healthier to be thin than to be overweight, as long as the thin person is eating correctly. Some people just have high metabolisms. Also this woman clearly exercises to stay thin, as her ab definition is clearly seen in this photo, which is also certianly healthier than being overweight.

There will also always be a hierarchy of body types. There always has been and always will be. It has not always been that thin was at the top, either. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16!

Simply put, this campaign is obviously not meant to be taken seriously, and to do so is quite ridiculous.

30 08 2009
Tiffany

Yes, organ donation is a good cause, so shouldn’t that be sufficient for a marketing campaign? Must there be a scantily clad woman in the advertisement? Isn’t it problematic and disturbing that almost naked women are so frequently featured in ads, even in ads for good causes?

Women are frequently objectified in the media, not just in porn. The woman in this ad is objectified because she is positioned in a sexy, seductive way, for the visual pleasure of the (cisgender, heterosexual) male gaze. Her subjectivity (the fact that she is a person with thoughts, emotions, personal stories, etc.) is stripped away from her, and she is reduced to her body – her looks and her sex appeal. The text accompanying the ad, “Becoming a donor is probably the only chance to get inside her”, makes this especially clear. Likening the woman in this ad to women wearing bathing suits in public is not an appropriate comparison.

I agree with you that someone would have to be a numb skull to really think that only sexy women are deserving of organ donations. Whether or not this ad is meant to be taken seriously or not, and whether or not people actually do take it seriously (to do so would be ridiculous, yes), it is important to examine and decosntruct the underlying sexist and misogynist messages embedded in the ad. It is important to expose the subtle and the not-so-subtle sexist and misogynist ideology informing and ingrained in the ad.

I disagree with you that it is healthier to be thin than to be overweight, as long as the thin person eats correctly. Too often people equate size with health. Since thinness is positioned as the ideal, many people assume that skinny people are healthier than heavier people. Size, weight, and body mass index (BMI) are not the most accurate indicators of health and in fact, can be quite misleading at times.

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