Anne Hathaway is the celebrity star of Lancôme’s new commercial for Magnifique perfume, but the location is the real star. The ad was filmed at The Box, New York City’s infamous cabaret. A man whispers to Anne, who goes onstage and performs a sensual scarf dance. Compared to what really goes on at The Box, Anne’s tease is tame.A 2008 New York article described a few of the venues acts:
The lineup is never announced ahead of time, but these days it’s likely to include Narcissister, a woman who performs a reverse striptease, pulling her clothing — a skirt and stockings and tube top and scarf — from her orifices. Or it might feature an acrobat who balances on one finger resting on a dildo worn by his female assistant, or an act of vaginal bloodletting, or a performer dressed as R. Kelly appearing to urinate on an performer with pigtails.
We hope they sanitized the place before the all-American Girl arrived.
Why did Lancôme choose a location with such a sordid reputation? Perhaps they’re trying to cash in on the stripper trend. These days, it seems as though some are stripping not just for money, but to get ahead in other areas of their lives. Like Diablo Cody before them, some women have taken up stripping and scored book deals. According to Pepper Schwartz, a sociology professor at the University of Washington, “You earn the right to be deviant by other things you do. For example, if I write the great book on American history and then I go strip, I still wrote the great book on American history. So now I’m an eccentric historian, as opposed to a stripper with pretensions.” According to this logic, Magnifique is an eccentric perfume, not one with pretensions. Put some on, and you might be driven to take off your clothes — or at least sway suggestively.