It's purely business: Sexualising of women in ads

Sexualising women in advertising has constantly riled activists and certain members of the public, but not everyone sees these in a negative light.

Communications student, Samantha Foo, 22, is one who does not find such advertisements offensive.

"Why do people would want to complicate something which is merely used as a factor to sell products?

"There is no reason why it should be taken personally," she said, adding that the public should be discerning enough to not let something as simple as an advertisement affect their lives.

Samantha said, despite being a female, she does not get affected by these things.

"Take a whitening cream ad for example, most of the time the message implies that you would not be loved if you are not fair.

"In my experience, the women who are influenced by these ads are usually those who are in great relationships and already loved by their family.

"The advertisers are just doing their job and can't take the risk of putting up any 'less than perfect' images on their ads.

"Hence, it is important for the people, especially women, to look at ads as merely an avenue to promote a product and not to change lives," she said.

In terms of sexually-themed ads, Samantha said that advertisers are merely leveraging on human nature.

"Let's be realistic, men want to look at women and the shorter the skirt, the better. And if the women in the ad really had assets worth looking at, I would too," she said.

"Its not about sexualising, its about attracting. If putting a half-naked man or woman would mean getting the necessary attention for the product, there is no harm to it. It's business after all," she added.

Samantha emphasised that not all ads with women in them are discriminatory.

"I would not deny that there are some, but fact of the matter is some companies have placed men in the same light, so I guess its time to let this battle go," she said.

Photographer Vickneswaran, 31, said Malaysians need to understand that sex sells.

"The world revolves and evolves around three things - money, sex and religion

"Before jumping into conclusions, people need to analyse whether the ad is really discriminatory or merely creative.

"An ad which is both creative and sexual is the ultimate attraction," he said

Vickneswaran said that women who were critical of such ads should take a second look at it and ask why such an image was needed to carry the ad. "In my opinion, it is alright to be sexy as long as they are legitimate and not discriminatory," he added.

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