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Essay Advertising: Sex Sells

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Advertising is a billion dollar market with a sole purpose to persuade the consumer to purchase some type of product or service. Companies use many different methods to convince the public to spend money on their products with most of their advertising focused around the idea of “sex sells”. This idea promotes a hunger in the consumer for gaining personal pleasure or acceptance of sexuality by the eye catching effects of publicly baring flesh. These ideas are promoted through TV commercials, billboards, magazines, radio ads, or any type of media targeted at the mass majority of people. Every where a person looks there seems to be some type of advertising based on sex. The illusion of making one feel they want, need, or cant live without something so pleasing makes a person want the product even more. This is a concept that can be explained by the idea of sexology which states, “Sexuality is not a superficial or minor part of being human; it is basic to who we are” (Seidman 4). This idea is one of the public weaknesses that the major corporations can manipulate during advertising leaving a person to wonder why and if the idea of sex really sells. The issue is women are the only ones who seem to be sexual in advertising further creating concerns focused around the idea that sex isn’t the only thing being sold.
One form of advertising that is highly focused on the idea of sex selling is the magazine industry because it has to capture the public’s attention mainly with images. While looking through many types of magazines one can see sexual examples of this; most of which don’t have anything to do with the product. For example an ad in the August issue of Essence has a picture of a Nissan Altima, an attractive lady with her cle...


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...what they are suppose to according to roles assigned by men. Women exposed bodies are used to describe what is attractive, their seductive looks are viewed as being desirable and these are things that women strive for. This desire to be accepted is what keeps the women attracted to sexually objective forms of women images in magazines. This is what is explained by the contributions of Freud. He states that “sex is as much about fantasies and wishes as about physical sensations” (Seidman 11). For most women and men this is exactly what they are looking for. When they are viewing any type of advertising most of it is illusions of created desires that people dream of. These illusions are things that may are may not be achieved when consuming the product or service and yet people still buy into it. So when Seidman address the idea of sex is who we are I totally agree.



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