I had to pull this post out of the draft folder as Jay the Zero Boss scooped me. (Note to Jay: seriously, I’m not linking to you all the time on purpose.)
Jay writes about the sad state of men using ”hot female” avatars to gain clicks. I like to call them “the boobs.”
Initially, I was just mildly annoyed with the boobs plastered all over MyBlogLog. I knew I wasn’t the only one when I read one of the comments made by Eric from MyBlogLog in the midst of the Shoemoney mess:
But recently, I’ve seen a load of people complaining about all the “join my community” spam and all the pictures of busty women being used as a lure to bring people to their pages. I’m comfortable saying this is not behavior we want because it’s ultimately a lose / lose game.
But what really got me going was the recent report from APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Their definition of sexualization includes when a person is “objectified — that is, made into a thing for other’s sexual use . . . .” They go on to report that studies show that women are more often “objectified (e.g., used as a decorative object, or as body parts rather than a whole person).” Emphasis mine.
Now, this isn’t news to me, and probably not to you either. But I thought we were making some progress in this area. But we’re not. As Mike Macgirvin comments:
As far as the boobs go, it’s the oldest marketing trick in the world. They get ten times as many clicks. It’s a sad fact of life. I put a cute girl on my splash image as an experiment and guess what? Ten times as many clicks as my other pages. Sometimes more.
I’ll spare you from my smug rantings about indifferent marketers. But how can we continue to pretend that the boob avatars — and media images and advertising, etc. — having nothing to do with the mental, physical, and sexual health of girls and women? Even worse – why don’t we care?