In an article for Take Part, writers Holly Eagleson and Lauren Wade retouched controversial advertisements by replacing women models with men. In doing so, Eagleson and Wade hoped to highlight the pervasiveness of sexual objectification of women. For example, they decided to remake American Apparel advertisements to draw attention to former CEO Dov Charney’s abuse and mistreatment of female employees, as well as to photographer Terry Richardson’s record of harassing and assaulting women.
“Charney and Richardson are really representative of a specific form of sexism and objectification in media today,” Wade told Huffington Post in an email. “Their collaborations, in particular for American Apparel, depict women in sexually vulnerable, pornographic positions where a lot of the model’s facial expressions look like they’ve been drugged or they’re drunk. These images are predatory. They depict women being taken advantage of and it’s supposed to look “sexy” and sell sweatshirts?”
Finally, a company that cares about my need for ladylike cheese.
Reduced fat… eat shit!
Today on: useless gendering of products
My co-worker’s aunt spotted this gem of an ad in today’s paper. Today’s. Someone actually wrote and approved this ad in 2014.
If you’re having trouble seeing it, basically it’s a clueless young blonde woman blowing on her smoking engine with the tagline: “Don’t let this happen to your wife!” Then an ad for South Coast Ford's “The Works” maintenance package.
Sechelt, BC — where it’s still 1953!
Lush’s new product catalog is very interesting.
This is a perfect example of how white left wing liberal culture is not actually that much more progressive than their right wing counterparts.
””“African Paradise”“”” bc Africa is one homogenous nation lmao
African Paradise is made up of ingredients found all over Africa and in using those ingredients, LUSH can support the communities that harvest them. This is a GOOD thing for communities whose only source of revenue is the ingredients they harvest and sell. Don’t bash something you don’t understand or research. LUSH buys ingredients at fair prices and is one of the few cosmetics companies to have an entire buying team dedicated to buying ingredients ETHICALLY.
So are you just going to ignore the fact that they are homogenizing Africa and that this picture is the epitome of white saviourism or….
As an artist who goes to a school recognized for their design program the way this photo was taken was no small mistake and the design of this page was thoroughly planned and it is actually really disgusting.
Let’s break it down,
there’s only one child who’s face is visible which gives just enough personality to make readers understand the children are happy this woman is here, but not enough faces to individualize each child. Coupled with the fact we only see the rest of the children’s back heads, the viewer assumes all the children are happy without giving each of them an individual identity - blatant homogenizing in an extremely literal sense
The arms of the children all point to and frame the title of the piece and direct the viewer’s eyes to the name and face of the woman, not only are the children not identifiable by face, but also by lack of name (LUSH probably wouldn’t have wanted to go through the trouble of getting their consent for their names anyway, but but also don’t want them identified as anything other than ‘those children who need help’. And that’s if they’d even actually consent, or even fully consented to being in this photograph)
Probably the most recognizable part is how she stands above the children as they raise their arms to her, palms open, like how much more blatantly “I’m a savior” could you get? - combined with the idea that the article is about a product, the open palms make it look like they’re basically begging for it (despite what they’re actually doing is wanting to play with the bubbles, see that one bubble you can barely notice to the left of the woman’s description?)
Several children are even cut out of frame and reduced to arms whose only purpose is to frame the title and lead you to the woman’s face. The children are literally being used as props and that is SO OVERWHELMINGLY INTENTIONAL FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHERS/EDITORS SIDE IT INFURIATES ME
ALSO THERE’S ONE BUBBLE TO THE TOP RIGHT I CAN BET YOU DOLLARS MANY MANY DOLLARS
That there were other bubbles throughout the photo that were photoshopped out to increase the “children happily accepting help” schtick (One kid far left looks like they just caught one or missed one there should no doubt be more bubbles throughout the photo)
AUGH LIKE this photo is SO HUGELY REFERENTIAL to SO MANY pieces I’ve learned about in Art History and guess which ones remind me of this painting include? Yeah you guessed it basically anything involving Jesus or Mary or one of the Saints or Angels. So add appropriating biblical or christian imagery as a means to uphold and justify racist white savior bullshit (HELLO 17th century european slave trade)
This is so infuriating to me as an art student because I KNOW whoever made this page stared long and fucking hard at the same flipping text books as I did and understands the implications and impact that something like this has on the mind of a consumer and instead of just using another photo they promptly USED IT TO SELL A PRODUCT
I hate advertising so much 80% of the industry is just a pool of scum a pool of sexist racist scum I tell you
Also here’s an ad that reminds me of this ad, trigger warning racist so racist, look particularly in the bottom right corner.
This commentary is so on point, close reading on advertisements is so important this was beautiful.
Bolding is mine.
No guarantees but yes we will be posting more, so send submissions and questions and ideas!
I work in a grocery store now so I may throw in some of the sexist things I see at work, the micro marketing aggressions
(though none of our ads of course, I don’t want to get fired)
I have better internet now, I can watch the videos!
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start blogging here regularly again.
I will apologize for our silence over the last (has it really been) a year a half. I can’t speak on Kaitlyn’s behalf, but last year was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. Other stuff took precedence, and consequently a lot of my side projects sort-of suffered a bit.
But, but!, I will endeavor to post here more frequently. What’s more I won’t just be sharing sexist advertisements and posting commentary about them. I also intend to use this space to talk about feminism and sexism as a whole. Though obviously I will be focusing on advertising because, y’know, that’s what this blog is for.
If you have questions, ask ‘em! If you see a sexist ad, send us a photo or a link.
Thanks for weighing in, but just because you don’t see anything wrong with these ads doesn’t mean they aren’t inherently problematic.
THIS ‘X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST’ HARDEE’S AD IS THE WORST THING MYSTIQUE HAS EVER BEEN INVOLVED WITH
By Chris Sims
Folks, I have seen some dumb things involving the X-Men in my time. It is, in fact, my actual job is to see dumb things involving the X-Men on a fairly regular basis, and I have also seen more than my share of terrible ads over the years. This new ad from Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. that makes an attempt to promote their Western X-Tra Bacon Burger, however, might just be the new gold standard for idiocy.
See, shapeshifter Mystique (not played by Rebecca Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence, mind you) is going to eat this burger, but it’s just too much burger for a li’l lady to handle, so she turns into some scruffy bro because only men can fully enjoy the taste of fast food bacon. Seriously. That is what this ad is about.
"How the Media Failed Women in 2013," courtesy of Miss Representation. This is mind-boggling and you must watch it right now.
Most of the time, targeted ads are pretty harmless. You searched for a flight to Denver? Here are some hotels in Denver. You looked for new running sneakers? Here are a few options.
But a new “study” from marketing firm PHD recommends a strategy that crosses the line from merely targeted to outright predatory, explicitly advising brands to seize on the times of the day and week when women feel the most insecure about their bodies and overall appearance in order to sell beauty products and other goods.
Women, the study claims to have found, feel less attractive on Mondays, especially in the morning. Thus, as the release explains, “Monday becomes the day to encourage the beauty product consumer to get going and feel beautiful again, so marketing messages should focus on feeling smart, instant beauty/fashion fixes, and getting things planned and done. Concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments, aligning with content involving tips and tricks, instant beauty rescues, dressing for the success, getting organized for the week and empowering stories.” Yuck.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]