One of the worst fears I have for my future children is that they will grow up in a culture where beauty has a shallow definition. Today, we seem so at peace as we continue to objectify women (and men to a lesser degree) on a daily basis. I'm terrified this culture will continue for my children, and one day they'll dishonor the beautiful people around them, just because they're not dancing naked in front of them.
I don't want my future children to grow up like this. I don't believe any of us do. So why don't we stop it in its tracks today?
Maybe the reason sexual objectification still occurs today is because we're not thinking of the cost we'll have to pay for it tomorrow.
It's difficult to think about tomorrow, but if we go through life with blinders towards the repercussions of our current actions, we'll only taint our future culture.
So, I'm doing something new every time I encounter sexual objectification in mainstream music videos, commercials or advertisements. Instead of writing off the objectification of women and men, I think about everything we have to lose from perpetuating this culture, and let that propel me to be sensitive towards the issue, enough to change it.
Here are a few of the things I can see us losing from continuing this culture:
1. Good Art
I recently watched a music video, and it was atrocious. The man in the video was of course fully clothed, while women were literally naked. The first thought that crossed my mind after watching this video was did this artist really think having women portrayed like this will improve his art?
Truth is, you deprive art of its inherent beauty anytime you zap life out of the living.
If you turn living, breathing men and women into naked, silent objects to be gawked at, you rip away the possible beauty of what could be if only they were represented as they truly are.
2. Sensitivity to Beauty
Sometimes, I believe we are numb to what true beauty is. It's not being looked at and craved after for only a moment; it's seeing the heart and essence of a person draped in their natural wonder.
If we continue to objectify women and men, we'll lose our ability to recognize true beauty when we see it.
There might be some of you who believe that the naked body is beautiful, and I agree. But true beauty is treasured, not flaunted. When you take your treasures and parade them around, you deplete them of their value.
Don't settle for a sub-par standard of beauty.
3. Rational Reasoning
I'm insulted every time an advertisement uses sexualized women or men to draw consumers. The seller always appeals to something carnal, taking reasoning and rationality out of the picture as if we cannot function in that capacity.
It's an insult to our humanity that sexual objectification has carried on this long, because it just goes to prove that sellers were successful in appealing to us in crude ways.
Let's prove we're smarter than what sellers make us out to be.
4. Realistic Expectations
The more we continue objectifying women and men in our advertisements, the more dissatisfied we will be that no one in reality matches up to this fantasy we see.
Plain and simple, objectifying men and women skews our expectations of what they should be like in reality. We start to favor the lie instead of relish in the truth. And last time I checked, nothing substantial is built on lies.
I never looked at a man who juggles women as if it's his day job and said, "that is one respectable guy." I would do the same thing if a woman were doing that to men.
People who have no respect for the life around them earn no respect themselves. If you devalue people, there is not much value to your own character, despite how many good deeds you've done.
6. A Culture of Freedom
We pride ourselves on being a country of complete freedom when ironically, that freedom is mocked in our own advertising. We oddly perpetuate a culture where equality is subtly stepped on by how we picture men and women.
The truth is, we are losing our equality the more we objectify people and see them as less than they should be.
I recently heard a man say, "today's complacency is tomorrow's captivity." After I heard this, I remembered that freedom is something you fight for. Let's preserve the culture of freedom that we love by speaking up and taking action.
I want my children to grow up with tender hearts, sensitive to how creation clothes us. I want them to realize that all human beings deserve respect for the whole package of who they are, not just for their curves or muscles.
But, I know that if I want my children to grow up within this environment, I'm going to have to fight for it today.
It's time to shine a light on what's at stake, and step forward into a better future.
This article was originally published on xyzfaith.com.