The history of sexist advertising is being flipped. It's amazing, but it's not enough.

The NSFW ads are unlike anything you've seen ... or are they?

A new, very NSFW ad campaign is turning one of the most played-out advertising tropes on its head in a brilliant way.

The campaign, by women's suit-maker Suistudio, is called "Not Dressing Men." The ads consist of sharply dressed, suit-clad women striking powerful poses while naked men lounge in the background, reduced to the role women have so often played in advertising: objects.

Photo courtesy of Suistudio.


According to Suistudio USA vice president Kristina Barricelli, the company is simply filling an empty space left by advertising's very one-sided history of objectification.

"There is nothing wrong with sex, the naked human body, and the inclusion of that in a campaign. Sex is a big part of fashion," she writes over e-mail. "The problem is that in recent history, we haven’t seen a naked man objectified in the background. How strange! Why not?"

Photo courtesy of Suistudio.

Barricelli is careful not to call the campaign an attempt at gender-flipping, but instead, it's a call to viewers to reconsider the rigid gender roles reinforced through advertising over the years. That the campaign has to do with suits — clothing that is more typically coded as masculine — buoys Barricelli's vision.

Filmmaker and activist Jean Kilbourne addressed the role ads play in objectifying women during her 2015 TEDx Talk.

"Women’s bodies are dismembered in ads, in ad after ad, for all kinds of products, and sometimes the body is not only dismembered, it’s insulted," said Kilbourne, outlining some of the many dangers of objectification.

Examples of objectification in advertising from the 1970s: An ad for Mr. Leggs trousers via Adweek (left) and Weyenberg Massagic Shoes via NY Daily News (right).

"When women are objectified, there is always the threat of sexual violence, there is always intimidation, there is always the possibility of danger. And women live in a world defined by that threat, whereas men, simply, do not," Kilbourne explained. "The body language of women and girls remains passive, vulnerable, submissive, and very different from the body language of men and boys. Probably the best way to illustrate that is to put a man in a traditionally feminine pose: It becomes obviously trivializing and absurd."

But simply flipping the role of which gender is being objectified won't solve advertising's sexism problem alone.

In 2016, ad agency Badger and Winters launched the #WomenNotObjects campaign to highlight some of the most absurd and ongoing examples of sexism in advertising. In the campaign's powerful launch video, models hold up copies of objectifying ads and offer sarcastic commentary.

In a 2016 interview about the campaign, Badger and Winters co-founder Madonna Badger explained how she came to realize that this decadeslong practice was neither good for the well-being of women nor the brands themselves.

"Agencies create advertising that promotes not only the product, but also the people who make it," Badger told CNN. "Ads should never 'use people' or take advantage of women and men in any way, shape or form. It should never show people as objects that have NO power NO possibility and certainly are NOT equals."

So while the Suistudio campaign does a great job of shining a light on the one-sidedness of advertising objectification, the ads aren't a solution in themselves — and to be fair, they don't claim to be. Maybe in the course of selling suits via an eye-catching campaign, however, these ads will have the pleasant side effect of encouraging people to get involved with groups like Women Not Objects, the Women's Media Center, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and The Representation Project in their fights for gender justice.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture