The other day I was talking to my sister about a television show as she flipped through
the pages of a teen magazine. Mid-sentence, she interrupted me and said “look how tiny this girl’s boobs are.”
I turned my head to look at the advertisement and found my self face to face with a thin girl with proportionally-sized breasts.
I was appalled to find that my sister was so judgmental. I gave her a gasp-how-could-you look before I settled down to really
think about what was bothering me.
I know the topic of breasts is a touchy, if not taboo one but I chose it for my article
because it is an important issue for women that I wanted to explore. Last year alone, 236, 888 women underwent breast implant
surgery for augmentation. That means that for 238, 888 women having larger breasts was more important than the risk of not
being able to give milk, and more important than spending the several thousand dollars it takes to undergo the procedure on
something else. Actually, I have never met a woman who feels completely comfortable with their set; too big, too small, too
saggy, too perky, too pointy, too square, etcetera. The advertising industry feeds off of these insecurities to sell their
More than three-quarters of the magazines I chose to use as sources for the article were
magazines targeted at teenaged girls, and all of them were very easily available to teens. I was surprised to see the pictures
that advertisements used to sell their products. Many products featured breasts as their central focus in the ad instead of
their, usually unrelated, product. For example, an ad for watches featured a model holding her hand beside her ample cleavage.
Furthermore, an ad for jeans showed a model wearing a sheer bra. These ads associate their products with the beauty that girl’s
crave: a large pair of round breasts.
After awhile this method of advertising does a curious thing. It leads
women to create a double standard; a dangerous double standard. They see all of these models walking around downtown wearing
just a bra or taking a drive in a ridiculously low-cut shirt and learn to associate cleavage and bare breasts with sexiness
and attractiveness. However, women who do dress this way, who do waltz around showing their breasts, are looked down on and
labeled “sluts.” Therefore, women are creating an ideal for themselves that they are looked down on if they fulfill.
Nowadays, breasts in advertising are creating a lose-lose situation for women.
Probably the worst thing that these advertisements do to women, of all ages, is confuse their
sense of what is normal. Women come to believe that only large globules are attractive to men and that they don’t measure
up. Ads always seem to feature thin models with humongous, disproportionally humongous, breasts. It confuses women’s
sense of what is proportional. Women are driven to buy bra inserts, push-up bras, “breast enhancing” pills and
supplements, and even breast augmentation surgery to feel attractive. Often, the desire for larger breasts is motivated by
the desire to be attractive to men. Teenaged girls especially feel the pressure to have perfect bodies with large breasts,
a tiny waist and lean legs, an almost impossible combination which is therefore an impossible goal to strive for. This distorted
view of self triggers eating disorders and depression, in some girls. It is almost black magic what a lifetime of advertising
can do to a woman’s self esteem. Looking at airbrushed photographs and models with personal trainers and thousands of
dollars to pay for cosmetic surgery leaves women to create unnatural and unhealthy ideals for beauty.
The advertising industry has years of studies under its belt. It knows
our fears, our insecurities, our foibles and it doesn’t just sit around and marvel at this knowledge it puts it to use
to sell products to us, the consumers. Breasts are a major issue for women, one of our biggest insecurities, and the advertising
agencies know this. They slide pictures of large breasts, cleavage, and scantily clad women in their advertisements to sell
products, at the expense of self-doubting teenaged and even adult women everywhere.
This Article was contributed by Miss Bunbun