The Women Not Objects campaign, which was founded to combat the objectification of women in mainstream media, couldn't have chosen a more important target for change: advertising that depicts and trivializes violence against women and the real ways they are harmed and objectified every day. Starting with horrible news coverage of the thigh gap, then moving on to advertising campaigns that flippantly use violent, hypersexualized imagery of women to sell wares, and ultimately ending at a call to action — the video above makes a powerful case for how constant objectification affects women and girls in very sinister ways. Women Not Objects argues that mass media's depictions of a woman's "ideal" appearance and behavior don't align. Young women who strive for both are constantly battling either judgment from others or feelings of inadequacy. When the cultural "ideal" is unattainable, everyone fails.
By the end of the video, viewers are urged to think of the women in their own lives — their mothers, sisters, future daughters, and most importantly, themselves — and how they've been hurt by advertising's objectification of women. The idea is that by simply standing up and saying no more, we can get closer to a world where girls aren't taught that their looks supersede their feelings, thoughts, and goals. To get involved you can submit ads with questionable or dangerous imagery via email or Instagram, so they can be called out. The campaign uses various "filters" for judging whether an ad is objectifying women: Has a woman been reduced to a prop? Has she been reduced to body parts, or photoshopped beyond attainability? Finally, what if the woman was you, your mother, or your daughter? You can learn more ways to get involved with the project here. Ed. note: This post has been updated for clarity.