By Olivia Jones

Within a cut-throat advertisement industry, and the ever abiding struggle to fight for women diversity, Marie Claire interviews one of the most influential women in advertising, Madonna Badger. She speaks about her unimaginable strength faced from a horrendous house fire and the tragic death of her family, to fighting for women’s right within advertising aiming to demise the amount of females who are objectified in media.    

“In the early hours of Christmas morning in 2011, the house caught fire. My three girls, who were asleep on the top floor, died almost instantly. My parents who were staying with me at the time, also died trying to save them”.

Madonna Badger spoke to Marie Claire in July this year. Trying to carry on life after the unthinkable happens would be an impossible case for the strongest of characters. For Madonna, her world collapsed within a Christmas night losing the closest members of her family within minutes. Madonna explains “I was trying to find a reason to be here. I kept thinking, “why did I get left, why am I here and what am I going to do?”. The way she recuperated after the horrific ordeal was to dedicate her time to make a global change. She wanted to change the way females are portrayed by patriarchal men in the media. She disagreed with the way women and girls were objectified within the media and focused on changing this. “We also came up with our own way of explaining objectification to other agencies […] don’t retouch to the point of human viability. The last point was about empathy. Once male creatives started mentally inserting their wives or daughters into ads, it became clear”. Males didn’t want their close family members being depicted in that manner and showed an indefinite response that things needed to change. Along with her agency partner Jim Winters, they created the ‘Women Not Objects’ film which records children being exposed to images in the media that objectify women. These images have been placed on billboards and television in plain sight of children; these images could result in giving vulnerable adolescents a fake sense of normality within themselves. 

With Madonna Badger’s ongoing work within the change of female advertising, she has empowered women and children to strive to be themselves and not be pressured into buying into medias interpretation of perfection. 

Watch the ‘Women Not Object’ film here: