This weekend, I found myself engaged in an impassioned conversation over Twitter with several women, among them Australia’s “Bra Queen” Renee Mayne, about a 2004 Elle MacPherson Intimates ad which resurfaced online. The image, which was reportedly made for print, magazine and newspaper ads in Australia, depicts a woman in lingerie, thigh-high stockings and high heels lying on a shag rug on the floor. The photo is snapped either through a mirror or a door, only showing the woman from her shoulders down as she lays on the ground. Her head, which is hung down or bent over, is hidden from view. Given her headless-ness, it’s fairly objectifying as far as lingerie images go —compared with, say, Victoria’s Secret ads which depict smiling women looking directly into the camera.
My main complaint about the ad was that it’s voyeuristic. As a viewer, you’re not entirely sure the subject is aware she’s being photographed while sexily dressed because the image was taken either through a door or a mirror. That’s too creepy for my liking. But a lot of women saw this ad and thought it implied a victim of rape or domestic abuse. Keep reading »
Add one more advertisement to the slew of commercials stereotyping men and women. Asda, a British supermarket, debuted a new ad for the Christmas holidays, featuring a mother running herself ragged, creating the perfect Christmas for her family. Because, you know, that’s what all women do. Keep reading »
I don’t fully understand why these ads are “sexist” or “offensive,” as per the women’s health blog Blisstree. The Brazilian gym Vila Olimpica ads show big, muscular men standing behind women, their ripped arms doing things like opening jars and bottles of wine. But I didn’t read this as “the iddy-bitty-widdle-lady can’t open a jar of olives,” because the female model actually looks rather fit and toned herself. I read it more as a joke: the lady needs gorilla arms to open these relatively easy products, but those kind of muscles are more of a female body builder thing, so there’s a big dude standing behind her doing it.
It’s a obtuse, sure, but I’d say it’s visually clever. What do you think, Frisky readers? Maybe I’m losing my edge? [BlissTree]
She’s supposed to “get gorgeously dressed in 15 minutes flat,” but not worry about her hair getting wet in the rain. She’s supposed to love a good laugh, but can’t gossip. She’s a big eater, but doesn’t drink white wine. And on, and on, and on. According to this old ad for Bill Blass Perfume, finding your soul mate is just like ordering up a burger … only more obnoxiously specific. [The Hairpin]
American Apparel‘s print ads for their shoes show one going up a woman’s taut, slightly arching butt, as well as a man’s hands pulling up a woman’s dress from behind while they both wear American Apparel shoes. Of course they advertise like this: sex (still) sells. I’m not offended (I think they’re hot!), but I’m not wowed by the company’s uber-creative marketing prowess, either. Ho hum, it’s just a woman’s butt and a shoe! Show us something we haven’t see from you a million times before, Dov Charney. [Styleite] Keep reading »