Real sexist, real objectification: Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics is a 'featured brand' of department store chain Myer. This is how the brand is currently advertised. 


This advertising banner is placed on the side of the Myer Centre in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall and its not the only one. Keep walking and there are several other posters leading towards the entrance.  It wasn't immediately clear what was being advertised here. Given the focus on the models breasts and the tagline, bras maybe?

But no, the ad is for eye make up, specifically mascaras and liners that are 'beyond belief.' Thats why they needed to picture a model in her underwear posed on a bed with a sleazy double entendre about her breasts. Yes, unfortunately this sexist, objectifying ad campaign is real - honest!

The ad uses women's breasts to sell products that have nothing to do with breasts. This is classic sexual objectification, reducing women to the sum of their body parts. Who does that 'Benefit'? 

The brand is also advertised prominently on Myer's website.


And then there's this ad. The models body - (again its her breasts, lets be honest here) - is to be scrutinised and evaluated. We must be on the alert for any signs of deception - to not make the status of her body parts known is a crime! Good thing she's hooked up to a lie detector. 


Speaking of crime. Do you know what else might be a "crime" according to Benefit Cosmetics? Being "Easy."  


The above ad campaign was launched last year in 'pop up' stores around the country. Here is how Myer and Benefit Cosmetics launched the product in Pitt Street Mall.


The ad campaign sends a sinister message about young women. Look at the ideas that are connected with the imagery of the woman. "Easy" and “crime.” The ad gives the impression that a woman who is well groomed and dressed up is not only "easy" but also "guilty" of this.

Ad campaigns like this feed into rape myths that suggest women are 'asking for it' if they dress a certain way and are either partly or fully responsible for sexual assaults committed against them. Women who are sexually assaulted are often made to feel as though they are to blame. They are asked what they were wearing, who were they with and did they walk alone? Meanwhile the perpetrators of such crimes are rarely prosecuted let alone convicted. 

We put these concerns to the Ad Standards Board via an official complaint last year, but Australia's self regulated Ad Standards Board wouldn’t even accept our complaint let alone decide whether it breached any advertising standards.


But there's more - Benefit Cosmetics is fast becoming known for its contempt for women. Earlier this month Benefit Cosmetics UK used its social media platform to participate in a fat-shaming campaign called #makeamovieafatty.



High street cosmetics brand Benefit has come under fire after partaking in a fat-shaming hashtag on Twitter.

The popular beauty brand outraged its customers after it contributed to the #MakeAMovieAFatty hashtag - which involves incorporating derogatory terms into film titles. Read more at the Daily Mail

Benefit Cosmetics describes itself as a company that believes ‘glamour is grabbing life by the giggles’ and ‘laughter is the best cosmetic!’ They probably think this is all a joke, but the thing is, we’ve already heard the one about women being sexual objects for men. Its been done to death and its not funny.

So yes, it is real and it is beyond belief. But I'm not talking about the cosmetics range, I'm talking about the way Myer and Benefit Cosmetics treats women and girls. There is no benefit in sexually objectifying and degrading women.

Let them know here:

#nobenefit #boycottbenefitcosmetics #notmystoremyer

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