there are new measures to crack down on sexist ads

Sick of ads telling us a woman’s sole purpose in life is to mould herself into a bronze sculpture thinner than the floss she cleans her pearly whites with? So is the Advertising Standards Authority.

by Georgie Wright
19 July 2017, 9:45am

New measures drawn up by the Advertising Standards Authority will crack down on adverts that perpetuate sexist stereotypes; are complicit in body shaming; or mock those who don't conform to the narrow gender roles that have underpinned society for too long. So, a lot of them. Other things the watchdog are banning? Unhealthily thin models, and extensive airbrushing that turns a patch of freckled/pimply/normal skin into a monotonous square of Pantone Basic White Girl. Essentially, all the ads fuelling that little voice in your ear commanding you no, definitely don't have that calorie ridden but really goddamn delicious chocolate cake, Betty.

As well as stamping out demeaning depictions of what women look like, the ASA will also cut ads that pigeonhole women's roles into reductive stereotypes -- cooking, cleaning, typing up their boss man's weekly golf schedule. After undertaking what they believe is the most comprehensive review of gender stereotypes anywhere in the world, the report's lead author Ellie Smillie argues that "such portrayal scan limit how people see themselves, how others see them, and limit the life decisions they take. Tougher standards in the areas we've identified will address harms and ensure that modern society is better represented."

So, no more ads of Aunty Agnes tottering round in six inch heels after her twin boys as they rip a hole through the Lego city engulfing the lounge, all while her hubby chuckles smugly from the TV facing La-Z-Boi and cracks open a cold one in anticipation of the three foot croquembouche she whipped up for desert. 

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Text Georgie Wright
Image via Twitter

body image
self esteem
Advertising Standards Authority