Over-sexualization

“There’s an issue with people in our society over-sexualizing young girls. When someone says, ‘Oh, she shouldn’t be wearing that at that age,’ it is like that person is saying, ‘Her body is too much for me to handle, it is a distraction,’” said Oxnard High School senior Savannah Mooney regarding the sexualization in society.

According to Dictionary.com, “Sexualization” is defined as the objectification of one’s body, valuing their sexual appeal and behavior as opposed to their worth as a person.

To some people, the pressure of sexualizing one another monopolized by companies remain constant and go unnoticed due to the prevalence in our media. Companies do this to keep us invested in not only our unrealistic expectations but their marketing schemes, as evidenced in Carl’s Jr. and their ad campaigns where they feature the misogyny, sexualization, and objectification that the media values to portray.

The ads show nearly nude women, presenting themselves in a manner that sets an unrealistic expectation for some young girls.

Lindsay and Lexie Kite, alumni of the University of Utah, have doctorates on the topic of media and body images. According to an article in The Daily Universe, these professionals take their position against these sexualized commercials, defining it as “‘the process of representing or treating a person like an object that exists to serve another’s sexual pleasure.’”

In the article, when asked in a press conference, Carl’s Jr. deliberately used these tactics of sexualization to sell more burgers. Carl’s Jr. said,“‘We believe in putting hot models in our commercials because ugly ones don’t sell burgers.’”

This manipulation, such as that of which Carl’s Jr. promotes, altered Mooney’s view of society permanently. She, along with some girls of the same age, have strong feelings towards the deliberate moves that companies take to sell their product.

Mooney said, “I’ve noticed women’s bodies are used as a marketing ploy for a lot of things that have nothing to do with things directly solely towards women. They use almost nude women.”

Mooney believes that our education system is a critical factor in the influence towards teens. She said, “Teens are young, and we’re never really taught about sex in school or anywhere really. So when a teen sees a sex symbol or a pretty girl on something they may not think much about it other than ‘I don’t know why, but I like that.’”

On a broader note, she further said, “[Over-sexualization] can hurt the self-esteem of young teens who think that’s what they’re supposed to look like to be desired.”

She also took into account the hypocrisy on the issue. Although sexualizing remains prominent in our media, it is still a “touchy subject for many people,” said Mooney. She further said, “When I’ve heard teens being open about sexual subjects, they are shut down and described as ‘lewd’ or ‘inappropriate.’”

Some people, particularly girls feel that their looks have been looked upon as a ‘distraction’ to others when wearing an ‘inappropriate’ outfit that later becomes oversexualized in society.

Mooney said, “[They] shouldn’t be looking at me or any student in that way, a way where they’re looking at their clothing and deciding whether or not I should be allowed in the room.”