Sexism in the Super Bowl

It’s coming- one of the biggest events of the year. That moment where sports lovers and couch potatoes alike come together to eat 28 millions pounds of potato chips and drink around 325.5 million gallons of beer- all in one glorious sitting.

However, the Super Bowl’s not just a time for sports fans to rejoice, but also for advertisers to show their best, funniest, and most creative ads on the tube. A single commercial can cost up to $4 million, so why not make it one that people will remember? There are some beauties out there, such as the heartwarming Budweiser ad that shows one of the famous Clydesdale horses chasing down a car in order to keep his friend, a Golden Retriever puppy, from getting taken away from the farm. Depending on your affinity for animals, there are other great ones too, such as this year’s much-anticipated sequel to the well-known Cheerios Commercial, which features a precious bi-racial young girl.


Even though there are some fantastic commercials out there, there are also a lot of negative ones. Sexism has been a problem in Super Bowl ads now for some time. Year after year there seems to be even more sexist ads running during the Super Bowl. From Go Daddy’s semi-nude body painting ad to Carl’s Jr.’s burger munching supermodels, they’re everywhere.

Although this year, there’s finally a way for consumers to call out the sexism. The Representation Project, also known as Miss Representation, has come up with a few ways to inform viewers of sexism that shows up during the Super Bowl. The Representation Project has developed a #NotBuyingIt kit , named after their successful Twitter campaign, that shows viewers what sexual objectification looks like and examples of harmful gender portrayals in ad campaigns.  Also in the kit, readers can find ways to combat sexism during the Super Bowl. The Representation Project has also developed a free app called #NotBuyingIt, that will allow viewers to “support positive media” and puts “the power back in the hands of the consumer”.

Although the app can be used to call out sexism in many industries, such as the toy, movie, or magazine industry, it’s been marketed especially for the Super Bowl in the past few days. Users can join other #NotBuyingIt campaigns or start their own, alerting other users to sexism in various places. The app allows users to live tweet with built in #NotBuyingIt and #MediaWeLike buttons to allow user-friendly access. People who get the app also can take a pledge to use their own voices to end limited gender portrayals in the media.

The #NotBuyingIt app and Super Bowl Kit allow viewers to call out sexism on their own and allows people to become more aware of how frequent of an occurrence it is. For the first time in history, viewers can police the media themselves and call out negative portrayals of gender, as well as raise awareness among other viewers. The #NotBuyingIt campaign is destined for greatness and will change the way viewers see sexism in the media for years to come and, with luck, we will see less sexism in Super Bowl commercials and more equality.