While flipping through a supercar magazine one day, I came across an advertisement that floored me with its disturbingly apparent sexism. This advertisement was for an online dating site of the name Model Quality Introductions.
An advertisement for finding your perfect match online is not an uncommon occurrence in today’s society. With everyone’s busy schedule, more and more people are turning to online matchmakers to help them find “the one.” However, the advertisements I have seen for online dating site such as eHarmony.com or match.com feature both men and women, and emphasize the importance of matching based on compatibility. At Model Quality Introductions, their advertisement made it clear that this is not the case.
Boasting that the company is “male owned” and that “no one gets women like we do,” Model Quality Introductions made it apparent that the website was strictly for successful males searching for beautiful women. Although as a woman I found this advertisement to be quite offensive, MQI prides itself on being the “most successful male-owned millionaire matchmaking agency in the country.”
The extent to which the advertisement boasted about their objectification of women struck me as horrendous. The fact that the men “get” women makes it sound like these women are just a product for sale to be picked out by the men—which, essentially, is the case. However, the fact that this is still tolerated and prevalent in society today is a scary one. As for being “male owned,” the website justified that “you cannot hire a woman to do a man’s job,” seeming to demean women even more than they meant to, as I took it to apply to much of the workforce and how women are struggling to attain equality in the workplace.
Another thing I noted: the sexism demonstrated by the placement of the ad is also very apparent. Obviously, a supercar magazine is going to have a primarily male audience, but the design of this advertisement was as if the company believed that no women would ever see it. Did they really think that by placing the ad in a car magazine, no women would ever discover it and be offended by its content? Or did they simply not care?
Obviously, this company was founded on the premise that it would appeal to millionaire, single men and does not shy away from advertising that fact. But to what extent is this type of industry okay? Sure, like any dating site, the end goal of the company is to foster relationships, but the means by which the company goes about doing this almost reflect prostitution. They create a database of women who meet their standards—only women who are “8s, 9s and 10s”—and instead of a mutual selection process which many other online dating sites advertise, men who make enough money to join the site can scroll through hundreds of pictures of women and choose which ones they wish to have dates with. The way the site justifies this is by explaining that they are just recognizing the different standards that successful men have that are not addressed on regular dating sites. MQI claims, “we start with the outside, and then look at the beauty that lies within,” emphasizing that the most important beauty is not personality, but appearance.
Although in the real world, appearance and physical attraction play roles in fostering relationships, is it okay to market this attraction? I certainly do not think so, especially when these marketing tactics come at the expense of objectifying and demeaning women.