Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tan = “Magna Cum Hottie!”

Who cares about grades? Make “A’s” and get on the Honor Roll by hitting the tanning beds.

Despite efforts by the American Cancer Society and other change agents to alter norms regarding tanning, the accompanying ad strongly suggests that tanned skin is still valued. The ad, featuring an attractive model in a sequenced top, plays to young women’s desires to be “confident,” “sexy,” and “noticed.”

In work by Jacque Lambiase and myself, we identified three dominant messages advertisers use with sex. The image and headline unmistakably argue that if you use our services, others will find you more sexually attractive: “Use our tanning beds, and you’ll get noticed.”

For a look at some research conducted on sex in advertising and media, visit Sex in Media Rearch.