Wednesday, December 30

vending women

It's not enough to objectify women simply with direct beauty ads. Why not make them a commodity that you purchase for the price of a soft drink?

Is the fantasy the man's? The ultimate male fantasy to get, instantly, any woman he wants (preferrably very slim and showing lots of skin). Cutting through the 'red tape' of dating.
Is the fantasy the woman's? To wait patiently and passively for a man to choose her and therefore be rescued (and by the looks of it, any man will do).

Don't be too hard on this guy though, he's really very, er, inclusive. Look, he has many women in his closet from which to choose. Look how happy the chosen one is, looking up at her man. And if he forgets what sort of woman he likes, there's the anorexic model poster on his wall to remind him.

Just to round out the wonderful messages, let's make them all very fair-skinned.... never mind that it's an advertisement in India, shhh, they won't notice.

Oh, and in case you hadn't realised, it's an ad for shoes.

If you want to let them know what a fabulous job they're doing, you can:


  1. It's hard to have a thoughtful comment here...without going into a rant. I didn't even notice the first thought was "served chilled", how appropriate. Women on ice, with no "life".

  2. Wow. Um...gobsmacked is a word I'd use to describe my current state....

    Shoes? I never would have guessed....ffs, I wouldn't have noticed any of them were even wearing shoes.

    Goody, goody's been ages since I wrote a scathing letter...


  3. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Really scary what they are promoting here. I think I need to send a letter too.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. LMAO sorry I wrote in america... in India the women who are fair skinned are considered more beeautiful and high caste, where as low caste women will have darker skin because of working out in the fields.

    I was gobsmacked when an british indian friend of mine, told me that the women will whiten their skin on their wedding day to look as white as possible.

  6. You're right Joxy. Although the fair-skin usually comes from being Parsi, or from up North.

    You see it in the films, the heroines are always fair.

    Apparently they have beauty products in India that claim to make the person fairer too. This sort of ad just perpetuates the beauty myths.

  7. That's seriously disgusting.

  8. Ugh. ugh. Let me try to say something sensi .... UGH!!!

  9. This is very disgusting and what this is promoting is very sad.

    You should send this to the folks over at Sociological Images and have them post it up on their blog -

  10. Oh I just scrolled down and noticed it was already on the Sociological Images site.

  11. Oh don't get me started ; ) It's a topic veeery close to my heart. There was a lot of outrage here in Australia some years ago over a shoe ad that was considered demeaning to women (it was, and it was incredibly stupid and insulting on so many levels).

    Yet so many women (along with men) buy into this fodder (and sure we know the reasons why, but it's still frustratingly pervasive). I was always stunned by the number of my students - female - who being intelligent, seemingly disseminating people would rather conform to and accept these sorts of images (out of fear of being unappealing to men) than actively resist them. And I would still get the same old reaction when I declared that I'm a feminist " Noooo really?? - but you don't look like one!". Ugh. And I know the very outdated image most people have of feminists.

    I dare not go on for fear of boring you rigid with another thesis on the topic...hehe.

  12. I remember reading Naomi Wolf's "The Beauty Myth" years ago and how it really changed my perception of media and marketing. I suffered from a very severe eating disorder and seeing stuff like this makes me cringe. (well, that's putting it mildly.) How are we supposed to teach our daughters (I only have a son...but have a niece and friends with daughter's) to be comfortable in their skin and to love themselves for who they are when our gender is constantly bombarded with the idea that we are only lovable/desirable if we look a certain way. URG!!! As for the shoes...didn't even notice them.

  13. That's disgusting. It amazes me that there are actually women who will pose for this kind of stuff. How little do they think of themselves?

  14. OMG! I'm totally gobsmacked! That is just the most ridiculous thing ever! And the shoes... I hadn't even noticed them!

  15. Funny...I didn't even realize it was a shoe ad. Yes, I agree it is a pretty pathetic way to sell shoes but it certainly has gained our attention.

  16. That's an ad for shoes? Whatever...

    The shock value, the sex factor, that's all that matters anymore, right?


  17. Makes me sad that this sort of thing is still out there. When are we going to get past it?

    To the credit of every man I know, none of them would consider a passive woman a 'plus'.

  18. Creepy and bizarre...but I gotta tell ya, I laughed so hard at your descrption.

  19. Mon, I think you've hit the nail on the head by publishing an email address.

    Much as I find this kind of advertising unpleasant, the idea of banning it is worse (imo) because of the implications of trying to achieve consensus on "acceptability".

    I believe the best way of combatting it is to:

    - give feedback directly to the vendor
    - write about it publicly (the internet is a powerful tool for doing this)
    - boycott the product or service
    - parent our children thoughtfully and responsibly.



No comment is too long or short around here.

Comment moderation on posts older than 7 days.