Woman Whose Family Died in 2011 Christmas Day Fire Launches Campaign to Fight Sexism in Advertising
Four years ago, Madonna Badger suffered an unbearable tragedy. On Christmas Day in 2011, her Stamford, Connecticut, home caught fire, claiming the lives of her three daughters – Lily, 9, and twins Grace and Sarah, 7 – and her parents, Lomer Johnson, 71, and Pauline Johnson, 69. Badger and then-boyfriend Michael Borcina were the only survivors.
Now, Badger is back in the spotlight with the launch of a new campaign aimed at fighting the objectification of women in the marketing and advertising world.
The campaign, which was created by her New York agency, Badger and Winters, was initially posted anonymously on YouTube two weeks ago with the hashtag #WomenNotObjects. It has since amassed hundreds of thousands of views.
“People are really seeing that objectifying women is really up there with inequality of women,” Badger told Matt Lauer on TODAY. “I think that sex sells, but you know what the worst part is? It’s the harm we’re doing, and for me, that’s really what made me make this decision.”
In the compelling video, models pose with advertisements that objectify women.
“I love sacrificing my dignity for a drink,” one model says.
“Obviously, my cleavage can sell anything,” says another.
Badger added that her advertising firm “will never use women as a prop where she has no choice, no voice” and “we will never over retouch to the point that it is unattainable human perfection.”
Since her devastating loss more than four years ago, Badger has turned a corner in her life.
“I’m doing a lot better,” she told Lauer.
In 2014, Badger married her longtime friend Bill Duke.
“[He’s] the most loving, kindest man I’ve ever met,” she said. “And that has made a huge difference in my life.”