Here’s a disturbing experiment. Go to Google. Type in ‘drunk girls’. Then click Images. What you’ll discover is a collection of shocking, embarrassing and disturbing images that will lead you to believe that there is a very troublesome alcohol culture out there for young women.
In the Toronto Star on March 14th an article detailed how alcohol is being marketed aggressively to young women. Columnist Judith Timson provides insight and commentary on the fallout from this recently heightened phenomenon. To echo her sentiment, as girls succumb to these psychological and social pressures, they are subjected to immense risk: sexual assault, risk of injury, and heightened risk for diseases such as cancer and liver disease.
Women are seen today as a growth market – a financial opportunity for alcohol companies to increase sales. These companies have developed many campaigns specifically aimed at women. They have sugary drinks (‘alcopops’), wine with names like Girls Night Out and Strut, and accompanying images and commercials spouting female empowerment and female fun.
The consequence of this kind of marketing (to both women and men) is an evolving trend of permissiveness and risk acceptance that needs to be addressed. Alcohol marketers have a proven track record of alcohol glorification. Check out those images on Google and see how glorious it really is…