Sexed-Up Models, Advertising and the Candy Bar Game

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About Mark Greene

GMP Senior Editor Mark Greene is an Emmy Award winning animator and designer. He blogs and speaks on Men's Issues at the intersection of society, politics, relationships and parenting for the Good Men Project, HLN, Talking Cranes, The Shriver Report, The Huffington Post, Mamamia and Role Reboot. You can follow him on Twitter @megaSAHD and Google.
Click here to read more GMP articles by Mark Greene. Get Mark's fully illustrated children's book FLATMUNDER for iPad from iTunes about kid's fears and the power of play. For kids ages 4-8.


  1. Bravo. May I just say this is awesome??!!

  2. The important question is: Did you buy the candy bar? The article illustrates to me just how effective the model is. The ad captured your focus for an extended period & caused you to develop a game centered around its product. They just want your attention/money. Whether you find the model attractive is ultimately unimportant.

    • I disagree Dominic. We will never turn off the automatic visceral response to the image, that’s hardwired. But what mark has done is make that conscious and choose his response to it. The advertiser depends on you remaining unconscious to their manipulation and making automatic buying decisions based on emotional cues that you remain unaware of. In this case, the advertiser has actually created a negative emotional salience by trying to manipulate someone who chooses not to be manipulated. Well done Mark, I will be using your method or something like it the next time I am assaulted with the indecent image of a sexualised 14 year old in a fashion advert.

  3. It is hardwired for men AND women to look at beautiful people (beautiful women especially). Men want her and women want to be like her. As a mom of a middle school boy, I think Mark is on the right track with his son. These images do become burned into our brains (whether we like it or not) and pointing out the “tricks of the trade” is the first step in raising a kid who thinks for himself. Fortunately, the solution is the same as the problem. It’s the almighty dollar. A surefire way to cut out the oversexed candy bar . . . just don’t buy from the a-holes who advertise that way.

    • Tia, do you really truly believe that men and women are all just naturally wired to objectify women more? I find that really insulting to be honest. I think men and women are hardwired to be attracted to attractive people. But I don’t think women and men are both “hardwired” to “especially” objectfy women. And being attractive to an attractive person is different then what goes on in the media and the lengths it goes to showcase perfect beauty.

      • Erin, please read the first line of my post again. It says exactly what you say. People like to look at attractive (I just used the word beautiful) people.

        • Tia – ‘hardwired’ is an overused word. For your information, hetero women prefer looking at men. Because our culture does not cater to the ‘female gaze’ does not mean women don’t fantasize about the objects of their desire. Society just does not allow women to broadcast their sexual fantasies.

          In “Ways of Seeing”, John Berger explains how our culture has manipulated women to view (examine) other women through the eyes of men.

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