Kathryn Lindsay
June 30, 2015 5:30 am

Do you ever look at old pictures of yourself and just…*shudders for eternity*. We ALL have those phases in life we’d rather forget, and it’s exactly the same when it comes to advertising. You sometimes don’t realize just how bad it was until you see it in a different light. And that’s precisely what Buzzfeed shows in their latest video, in which a few women get together to take a look at ads from the past. Things get crazy. Fast.

The biggest thing they noticed was how, right from the get-go, the ads were super sexist, and not even in a subtle way. In a women-only-clean-and-cook-and-please-their-husbands kind of way. Even ads about period relief were written with men in mind, selling pills to keep women having their “time of the month” from bothering their husbands with their PMS crazy lady rage.

At one point, one of the women in the video brings up something pretty shocking: these ads must have been the norm because there are Just. So. Many. Every ad they look at is treating women like they’re crazy cleaning machines who deserved to be spanked and silenced. If these ads came out and nobody complained, then what does that say about that society? Maybe the first line of the video is true: only white men would ever want to go back in time. Just by looking at a few, it’s easy to see how spot-on that observation really is.

Like this ad. It’s about the horror of looking older than your husband, and it’s real! “What does HE have to do with anything?” one of the girls on the Buzzfeed video exclaims.

Oh, and here’s a picture of a lady getting spanked by her husband because she’s not keeping coffee fresh. “This just made me realize that everything on Mad Men is NOT an exaggeration,” One of the women from the video adds.

Are things different now though? Not as much as we want them to be. The women continue looking at ads as they become more and more recent —until we’re looking at ad copy from the 2000s. A Dolce & Gabanna ad that depicts four men ganging up on a woman and staring at her possessively. One from Burger King that insinuates oral sex from a lady. And an American Apparel ad that isn’t even trying to hide the difference between the male and female model wearing and advertising the same shirt.

“She’s literally sitting there as a thing that’s being used by these guys,” one of the women says in the video.

It would be more acceptable if the male model was also half-wearing the button-down shirt, but he’s totally not.

Today’s ads are still sexist, but in a different way. The role of women has seemingly shifted from being a servant to being a sex object —and for some reason that sells. Even in 2015 when we should know better than to present women as anything other than human beings.

As hilarious as this video is, it does a great job seriously comparing sexist ads from the ’50s to the sexist ads of today —and proving we’ve still got ways to go before women don’t have to be objectified to sell a product.

Take a look at the entire video here:

(Images via YouTube)

Related stories:

Carl’s Jr’s sexist ads aren’t selling like they used to —finally!

Feminist beer is challenging sexism in a whole new way

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