On Christmas morning in 2011, Madonna Badger lost her three young daughters and her parents to a tragic house fire. It was an unthinkable ordeal that received national attention. Today, she’s honoring their memory with her #WomenNotObjects campaign, underscoring the harm inflicted on a young woman’s self-esteem when she’s bombarded with sexist ads.
Her three-minute video, “We Are #WomenNotObjects,” garnered over 100,000 Youtube views in less than a month. It shows a montage of provocative ads that she discovered searching the Internet with the simple phrase, “objectification of women.”
A successful ad executive herself, Badger recognizes she has contributed to the problem. “If I said I never did it, I would be a liar,” she admits, noting that she helped produce Kate Moss’ famous Calvin Klein ads in the 90s. Her company, Badgers and Winters Group, will no longer create ads that objectify women. “I love my job but I don’t want to do it if it hurts anyone,” she said. Badger has also sworn off airbrushing models “to the point of perfection.”
Badger hopes her campaign will have a lasting impact and industry leaders are already taking notice. The United Nations organization, UN Women, even shared the video with its 860,000 Twitter followers. Here’s hoping other ad agencies will follow her lead.