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Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Variety is the spice of life

Variety is the spice of life

“Find fits for every body type,” the ad says.

Hmmm, I see tall and skinny in the first frame. Tall and skinny in the second frame. Tall and skinny in the third frame. And tall and skinny in the last frame. Read the rest of this entry

Learning to Like Torture in Shades of Grey

Mencontrol7What’s the appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey? As I’ve written before, release from power, fetishizing disempowerment, and random happenings may all play a part.

Internalizing a culture that eroticizes the degradation and torture of women surely plays a role, too.

A post from Feministing reads:

I am in no way surprised that many women, who have been socialized in a culture in which male sexuality is linked to domination and in which women are taught their sexual power comes from being wanted, have fantasies of submission.

When you are bombarded by images, ideas subconsciously get inside your head. And we are drenched in “male dominance is sexy” imagery.

Dolce-Gabbana-Ad-Sexist[1]Dolce & Gabana has a sexy ad suggesting gang rape. In another, a swimsuit-clad woman lies down as fully clothed men look menacingly down on her.

A Tom Ford eyewear ad seems to say F-you to a woman, in a BJ kind of way.

Fashion ads suggest that black and blue is beautiful.

At Superbowl XXXVIII Justin Timberlake slapped Janet Jackson around before ripping off her bodice.

Rhett Butler “takes” Scarlett in an act of marital rape – and she awakens sexually satisfied in the morning. Luke rapes Laura on “General Hospital” — and they fall in love.

secretaryLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit invites us to indulge in the rape, battering and torture of sex victims — usually women.

Meanwhile, The Secretary indulges in a little D/s on the side.

Or go to the ballet and watch a man overtake a woman in “Petite Mort” or “little death” (in idiom: orgasm).

On the music scene sexy women are routinely debased as bitches and ho’s while Eminem chants “I’m in flight high of a love drunk from the hate” while Rihanna submits saying, “I like the way it hurts” — and periodically returns to a lover who beat her.

Women are also watching more porn these days. Now showing: violence and degradation of women. Watching, they increasingly find it all arousing.

On the High Court Justice Breyer asks why thirteen-year-olds are protected from Playboy while video games that let boys bind, torture and kill a woman are just fine – so long as the she’s not topless.

2010-05SmuinPetitMort-GoodmanAs a kid I checked out Grimm’s Fairy Tales at the library only to read a tale about a woman who was punished by being stripped and driven through the town in humiliation as sharp spikes pierced her skin. Another childhood memory emerges of a woman being thrown over a man’s knee to be spanked on TV.

When young girls are steeped in these sexy images, is it any surprise that they come to see male domination and violence as sexy, themselves?

So really, it is no surprise that so many women are enthralled by the domination and submission of Fifty Shades of Grey.

I’ll talk more on what I make of all this later.

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Gender-Bending Ads

imagesWhat if you lived in a world where gender-as-we-know-it were switched?

As you drive to work you see billboards with scantily clad men drawing your attention to products that they gracefully caress. Other men bend over in ways that make you want sex with them. In some ads women lord it over submissive men.

You arrive at your ad agency, and as Creative Director you take a look at new ideas your copywriters have brought:

Nip_Tuck_ Season 31) A dead man lies in an open trunk with his legs hanging over the trunk’s edge to show off some Jimmy Choo shoes. A woman stands nearby holding a murder weapon.

2) The silhouette of a man with a beer body and a foam head appears. Copy reads, “You never forget your first guy.”

3) Two women surgeons sit near a male patient who is sprawled over an operating table, dressed in just a thong. A scalpel “knife’s” his body in an ad for a TV show called “Nip Tuck.”

4) A man didn’t make coffee right so his wife spanks him.

In this world women are the dominant sex consumers who expect men to “turn them on,” passively open to them, and submit to them — sexually and otherwise. And if they don’t behave, the men will be punished.

Here’s a video on how such a world would look:

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How to Look Like a Victoria’s Secret Angel

    “How to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel” Jezebel’s banner teased. “Not that you can be one. You can’t,” ran the verdict following the hopeful headline.

“What people don’t realize is that they’re rarer by far than superstar athletes,” proclaimed Ed Razek, Limited’s chief marketing officer (they also own VS). “The numbers of people who can do this are probably under 100 in the world.”

After all, angels must be skinny and buxom, but also fit enough looking to believably hold up heavy wings. Hard to do all three at the same time (or even two).

Sometime-angel, Angela Lindvall told the New York Times she jumped rope and ate nothing but spinach, chard and kale to lose 20 pounds, post-pregnancy, to “make weight.” Others hire personal trainers, take many-mile runs, do squats and lunges, and generally “kill ourselves,” as one put it.

The models “kill themselves” for a few months to acquire angel status. Yet the message is that all women can look like them by simply dawning VC bras and panties.

Much of advertising works by making people – in this case women – feel inadequate about how they look – which comes easily when an unachievable ideal is placed before us. But Victoria’s Secret offers a product to help! Really?

The message must be working. Sales are up.

A little VS can add some fun. But don’t stress if you don’t look like an angel. Most of the time, the angels don’t either.

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