Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)

Home Outlander Costuming Discussion Forums General Outlander Discussion On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry) Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)


Marketing is a tough nut to crack. It always devolves into a chicken and egg quandary. Are they creating the objectification in society? Or, are they responding to it? I look at history. Women’s bodies were reduced to body parts long before marketing became prevalent. I think marketers are correct when they say that they merely giving the public what they want. To me, it makes sense that if you want to change the climate in marketing one has to begin with oneself. One cannot blame others. One must educate oneself and be introspective about it. This is why I tend to reduce conversations about objectification to a personal appeal based upon the most basic human need affected by it – as well as the one that is most motivative. One should want to do this self examination (it will be brutal) because ones understanding of it will determine whether or not one ever finds the love of ones life.

I tell perps who come to me for advice 9and they do – most are confused and hurting) all the time, if you make a habit out of viewing women’s body parts online its going to effect your ability to see the love of your life when you finally meet her. The chances are high that you won’t see her cause you’re consumed with butts. (Then I smile and say: You will also be called a misogynist ass by me but that’s how you’re acting. Garbage in garbage out!.. just to lighten the mood). It does tend to motivate them when they understand it like that.

Objectification is so prevalent in our society that it is the norm, not the exception, to mistake it for love. When women react to the sight of man objectifying a woman by objectifying him, as in this case, its because objectification is love to them. It’s what they know.

Objectification reverberates. It’s all connected.. domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, harassment, eating disorders, sexual disfunction, depression, anxiety, divorce, child abuse,… even drug use. If you could see objectification as sound you would see the echoes bounce off the walls and crash into each other – splintering, and bending, and morphing into bizarre monsters. Whether you are a man or a woman you want to be careful not to ring that bell. You do not want to be in that room.

I find it a little disconcerting that I have had to spend so much time explaining that what Sam did objectified that woman. I get that you want to think the best of him. To be clear, I don’t less of him because he made a mistake on social media that reveals something a little worrying about his level of consciousness. I don’t think he’s a “bad person.” I just think well meaning people need to get out of the way and let him learn. I am not going to add to the cacophony. I’m going to encourage focus on what I know to be the source.

The marketing is only a reflection. It will only change when the subject changes. If Matt Damon can do it, so can Sam – if he wants to. But, its going to take some serious introspection on his part… I’m not victim blaming – I’m trying to liberate the victim. I’m going to give him back his sense of control. When you tell someone they are a victim they are a victim.

I am a four time survivor of rape (among other abuses). One does not survive wracking up that kind of record until one learns the difference between a victim and a survivor (finally – its possible I’m a little stubborn). A victim carries no responsibility for what happened and therefore does not have to change anything about themselves. A survivor figures out what part their own actions played. I don’t judge myself for not having known what I was doing wrong, but I allow myself to know what I was doing wrong. Now I’m in control.

Sam Heughan can take control if he doesn’t like what is happening. Stop telling him he is a victim or he’s likely to stay one. (whispers – it’s not pleasant and its doubly bad for for a man as it insults his manhood which typically causes them to go hyper-masculine and objectify more women and just it all gets ugly) He can take it. He will feel a lot more respected if you are bluntly, if not brutally, honest and direct with him.