Let’s Talk About Sex… Appeal

Buzzfeed posted a video mocking the sex appeal frequently used in advertisements by recreating many popular commercials with the use of some good old-fashioned gender role reversal. Here’s the link to their article:


Essentially, they take the over-sexualized actions of female actresses, like laying naked in bed covered in Doritos, or sensually eating a hamburger on the beach, and have a male complete them. As a viewer, it’s funny to see a man try to eat a hamburger as attractively as Sports Illustrated model Nina Agdal.

Then they take the typical male counterpart, mindlessly crunching chips while watching a football game, and have a girl do them.

Gender roles and expectations are heavily engrained in our minds are perpetuated by ads like this. Think back to your high school’s Powder Puff football game. Why was it so funny when the boys cheered on the sidelines, and the girls ran around the field? Women are typically the ones over-sexualized, and males are not.

Aside from sociological thought about gender roles and expectations, let’s think psychologically. What messages are we sending to women? Do these ads reduce our identity to sexual objects that are highly comparable to foods?

The use of sex appeal to sell products is not new, and realistically, it’s not going away anytime soon. Regardless, I think it’s good that Buzzfeed did an article covering this topic, especially in a comedic, entertaining way. By seeing what it’s like when roles are reversed, we can then open discussion to why a video like this is even funny, or even offensive.


Cowie, C. & Rose, M. (15 March, 2014). This Is What Happens When You Replace The Women in Ads With Men. Buzzfeed. Retreieved on March 17, 2014 from http://www.buzzfeed.com/caitlincowie/what-happens-when-you-replace-the-women-in-ads-with-men?bftw

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Sex… Appeal

  1. I actually saw this the other day!! When the gender roles are reversed, the storyline falls apart. It seems pretty ridiculous to have a guy covered in chips be sexy and make the product appealing. If they flipped the roles in more female targeted ads, you would probably gain the same results. Although these ads are highly sexualized, they aim for a certain audience who can be persuaded through these images.


  2. This is very interesting! And connects very well to my last two posts: does Sex Sell and Does Reality Sell. My articles are the larger topics and you definitely hit on a more contemporary, narrow example of the same thing. Very interesting and good that you are focusing on the bigger picture of this buzzfeed 🙂


  3. I like your take on this buzzfeed article. You made a great point, women are more sexualized than men even though studies show women do more shopping than men. So why would this be? It’s funny that having a man decked in doritos doesn’t have the same sexappeal, but is this because we have ingrained in our minds that it’s just sexier when women are portrayed in ads? I think it is because it’s what we’ve seen, so it’s what we’re used to and it’s what we perceive as “sexy.”


  4. I like the way you took and saw this article and I agree completely with how women are more sexualized than men and I think that is the case because of how women, more than men, have just been deemed more “beautiful,” “unique,” and “exotic.” While many women have our MCM (Man Candy Mondays) and talk about the appeal of certain men, it has never been to the extent in which women are characterized, most especially in the media and the truth is women are more interesting, eye-catching and intriguing to both men and women when they’re advertised.


  5. Buzzfeed is becoming so popular and oftentimes I see content produced by them just for the sake of content if you know what I mean. I do love how funny this video is and I definitely agree that women are much more sexualized than men are.


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