Sex is everywhere today, and especially in advertising seen daily in TV commercials, billboards,  magazines.  The sole purpose of advertising is to get the consumer to purchase a product, and as the saying goes, “sex sells.”   Beyond the sexual messages portrayed in advertising, there is also a message specific to women.  Through advertising, women learn that was is most important is how we look.  Women, from an early age, are taught that we must put in time and money in achieving the ideal look, and feeling ashamed and guilty when we fail.

2001 Mars advertisement

The M&M advertisement portrays the green piece of candy as a sexual being.  Like many advertisements, female sexuality is used to sell chocolate.  However, in this case, the green chocolate, isn’t necessarily a woman, it’s a piece of chocolate.  In the picture, “she” is wearing a pair of white high-heeled boots and posed in a sexy manner.  In Chocolate, Women and Empire, Emma Robertson talks about the importance of women to the chocolate industry as both consumers and producers.  This advertisement seems to be speaking to the female consumer in a way that says, if you eat the green candies, you can be as sexually attractive.  The headline used alongside the green m&m’s picture “What is it about the green ones?” implies that there is something more appealing about the green in comparison to the others (Mars).

Other than the obvious sexual nature of this advertisement, the main figure, the green m&m is portraying a woman as an object.  Sexual objectification is a tool used often in a advertising.  A Huffington Post article titled 14 Times Women Were Sexed Up For Absolutely No Logical Reason, highlights many times in advertising where women are turned into objects for the sole purpose of selling a product.   This type of advertising and objectification sexually objectifies the female body and equates a woman’s worth with her body’s appearance and sexual functions. (Szymanski, 2011).  This advertisement also uses simplicity as a tool.  Mostly everything in the picture is green except for the words and the white boots, which in a way draws more attention to the sexiness of the green m&m.  Consuming chocolate, at least according to many advertisements, is sometimes considered a way to make yourself more sexually attractive.  According to Robertson, chocolate has aphrodisiac qualities (69).

Reworked advertisement
Reworked advertisement

In the revised advertisement, I took away the sexualized green candy and replaced it with an image of all of the m&m candies.  Instead of focusing on sexuality, the focus is solely on the product, chocolate candy.  For me, candy consumption, especially small colorful candies is something that is geared towards children, not adults.  By taking away the sexual image, these candies are being marketed to everyone.


Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2009. Print.

Scherker, Amanda. “14 Times Women Were Sexed Up For Absolutely No Logical Reason” Huffington Post. Sept. 17 2014. Web.

Szymanski, Dawn M., Lauren B. Moffitt, and Erika R. Carr. “Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory and Research.” The Counseling Psychologist. 39(1) 6–38.


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