The moving video by Badger & Winters making the rounds gives you women with confrontational stares calling nonsense on some greatest hits among objectifying ads from Balmain, Tom Ford and American Apparel.
As far as the ads the video calls out, it’s the usual suspects — that Blow You Away burger ad, Tom Ford’s unapologetic naked bod fragrance one, etc. etc. They also call out the companies that go for some choice product placement on a woman’s bum in panties. As always, it’s still a gaping landfill out there. You know, companies being total exploitative dignity robbers every time they ask models to help make a cheeseburger look like a sexy fantasy.
This agency wants to take a stand and be known as the ad agency that won’t make women objects. It appears they did do a suggestive ad for DVF of a woman with a cherry in her mouth. No problems there, though it’s subjective. Looks like they’ve done nothing quite so routinely OBJECTIFYING as the ads they shame in the video. (And they count some high class fashion accounts.) There are far more women behind the wheel at other agencies too. But as expert on the image of women, Jean Kilbourne, reminds us, they don’t all want to rock the boat, and until there’s a critical mass of women boycotting these companies, objectifiers gonna objectify.
From the ad’s site: “being creatively led by a woman informs our collaborative process and deeply empathic approach to understanding women’s values and desires.” They seem to be doing classy work for classy ladies.
Sidenote: We are side-eying the hell out of some of the images this video targets. Women in bikinis on Instagram. If they take issue with one of those creative tech companies for deciding to steal a steamy shot of a woman in lingerie to sell compact discs, then yeah screw that noise. But if it’s a woman who wants to show off how she looks in neoprene, that’s her prerogative. It’s not for the agency — or anyone –to decide that a woman who elects to be in that photo in a kicking bikini isn’t totally empowering.
There’s only so often we can have fair discussions about this topic without feeling like we’re just treading old ground. Predictably, women are saying well that’s the way the Luna bar crumbles…. SO HOW ABOUT WE ENJOY DOING IT MEN TO YOU GUYS
Here’s why that’s the wrong move. When we see Joe Manganiello and Channing Tatum objectified – they’re muscular, in shape, in power, and grooving to the groove for female pleasure. In the video the helpless marionette isn’t quite the same sexual dream.
We sometimes see women “objectified” in a strong power stance. But often in fashion fairy tales cooked up by creatives, they end up lying on the road or in some dark corner of a room waiting for Wonder Woman to bust in and save the day. Like they might accidentally be seriously harmed, but ultimately it’s fine and they’re still selling hotness.
So no, that doesn’t make sexist ads any less miserable because male objectification in ads is hella different.