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Transgender Voice Surgery -- Travel to Korea for Cutting Edge Voice Feminization Surgery. Call us. <Web site>
"Cutting Edge?" Yikes!
They could have said "new and improved" or "technologically advanced" or "the latest techniques," but no...they had to use slice-and-dice imagery. How gruesome and unattractive. I don't think the creators of this ad took a moment to think about the implications of their phrasing. Blech.
In one ad, a man tries on a pink shirt and black tights, then asks his friends via phone, "Do I look like an ice skater?" Despite his female significant other's assurance that he looks fine, his social network [whom he calls "the guys"] respond with jibes such as "Man down." These comments imply that Pink Shirt is losing his manhood by a) wearing such an outfit and b) allowing his female significant other to select clothing for him. Pink Shirt's peer group polices masculinity by teasing and shaming those who deviate from the machismo of current U.S. masculinity.
In the other ad I've seen, two men are threatening each other with things to post to Youtube. Friend A shows a video of Friend B crying at a movie, calling it a video of "a sad, sad man," with sad meaning both "unhappy" and also "pathetic" here. When Friend B teases Friend A about a comment from Friend A's girlfriend, Friend A threatens to post a video of Friend B in a shower cab in bathtub, washing his legs. Friend A impugns Friend B's masculinity by showing Friend B doing "effeminate" things such as crying at a movie or wearing a shower cab in the tub. The social network, like Friend A, who calls Friend B "a sad, sad man," responds instantly with derision.
I can't believe this campaign. The whole point of this phone is to easily update one's social networks, and the best way the execs can think to do this is by having the characters insult one another's gender expression? It's a sad, sad ["unhappy" + "pathetic"] view of social networks as promoters of rigid joyless conformity. It's also a sad, sad view of friendship as superficial togetherness masking secret wells of nasty criticism.
This ad assumes that...
1) Everyone viewing it does holiday [i.e., Xmas] shopping.
2) Those who do shop are mothers. Other people don't shop.
3) The best way to reward people for undergoing the aggravating, time-consuming, frequently stressful, often anxiety-producing business of shopping is to give them more money so they can do more shopping. That doesn't sound like a reward to me.
This ad just recapitulates the tired sexist trope that mothers are responsible not for a family's support or earning, but for a family's consumption and happiness [in the form of gifts]. The gift card that urges its recipients to spend $20.00 more than the $200.00 they already have, to mother more, to consume more, to do more for the holidays, to somehow be better mothers.
The kyriarchy is never satisfied. It denigrates women, but then expects them to achieve impossibly high standards of feminine "perfection." One can't win!
I do want that doll, though, as well as some of the fat little Playmobil pirates seen in another ad in the series. This series makes me think that I should try again to make a fat doll. My first fat doll, Margie, came out pretty well, but I couldn't sculpt fats on her because I didn't have the right modeling compound. Now that I have some Sculpey, I can add fats to a doll's head and body! ( Beware! Eeeeeeevil fats! )
People of color as backdrop! Gun as penis! Murder as victory! YAAAAAAAY!
Beyond these things, I’m trying to articulate why this series is disturbing to me, perhaps because it brings cartoon characters into the non-cartoon world and gives them realistic remains. Most of the characters shown are heavily anthropomorphized, which adds an extra layer to their death. The trope of “big game hunt” doesn’t really fly for me when I see a tree with a sad humanoid face with its limbs amputated. What do other people think?
I'd like to hear opinions from other people.
P.S. Someone needs to take an international poll about the associations of the name Ken. My first association is with Barbie's boyfriend, who is connoted as an anatomically incorrect, bland, largely useless and even outright stupid character. Therefore, I don't find KenMen an auspicious name for a men's makeup company. But perhaps the name has different associations elsewhere around the world.
Besides the equation of wheelchair use and complete cessation of enjoyable life, also note ad's use to guilt to sell you tires: "Buy these tires or your son will end up CRIPPLED and MISERABLE because YOU didn't by blow-out-proof tires."
Thank you, Gallery of Graphic Design, for this ad, along with an endless bounty of other 20th-century ads.
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1. Man/slug. [Why are his pecs heaving like that?]
2. Man/cannon [aimed right at you, ready to fire balls].
3. Man/"mighty redwood tree."
7. Man/tap-dancing cowboy.
8. Man/tank [gun pointed directly at you].
Eurgh. That video made me want to throw up. I love therianthropes, even if they are people combined with tentacular things or snakes, so I'm certainly not puking at the combination of humans with non-human animals. I'm puking at the crappy artistic values of the hybridization and the undiscriminating stupidity of the philosophical concept behind the commercial. Not only are all the non-human parts obviously static and image-doctored, but they are also completely inconsistent, including living things, non-living things, other humans, non-human animals, plants, food and weapons. Pick a class of objects and stick with it, people. Seriously, watching that video gives me a stomach-turning case of thematic whiplash.
As shown in this online store, the annoying reusable bags are bright yellow with the following message on them: I'M SAVING THE PLANET. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
This conspicuous, confrontational environmentalism pisses me off because its point is not just to "save a tree," but also to "look fashionable while doing it" [quote from organize.com]. I have a problem with pro forma environmentalism where the appearance of environmentalism matters more than actual actions, as is the case with this bag. The text on the bag equates "saving the planet" with using this particular bag or, by extension, making a show of one's environmentalism.
Furthermore and much more problematically, the implied contrast between the owner who is "saving the planet" and the audience who is being interrogated suggests that the audience is not doing anything to save the planet. The audience may be doing environmentally conscious activities in other areas of life; or the audience may have mitigating factors that prevent them from spending extra money in order to flaunt their environmentalism like white urban bourgeois hipsters. The bag will not admit of these possibilities. In the limited calculus of the bag, bag = saving the planet = cool. No bag = harming Mother Earth = evil. At first this bag seems like a minor irritant, but it's actually an explosive mess of classist [and possibly racist] assumptions.
From Duke University's Ad*Access, a digital collection of many ads from the 20th century, comes a 1950 ad for Zonite vaginal douche. Playing directly on fears of ostracism, the ad warns that dire consequences will befall those women who do not douche: "homes broken up, few social invitations, the feeling of being shunned without knowing WHY!" Beware, ladies -- heterosexual HELL will be yours unless you harass your vaginal canals with a liquid that removes the self-cleaning mucous secretions of the canal walls themselves and leaves you susceptible to infections. Your husband won't want to have sex with you; no one will even want to talk to you; society will collapse, and it will all be YOUR FAULT.
This is what I have to say about the racist, sexist New Yorker cover portraying Barack and Michelle Obama as militant Islamic [?] terrorists:
1. It's only satire if it's obvious to intelligent, discerning viewers that it's satire. Intelligent, discerning viewers at Feministing and Michelle Obama Watch [and other blogs rounded up by MOW] do not, at the very least, think it's obvious. If it's satire, then it's bad satire. It hits the rim of the SATIRE basket and falls into the trash heap.
2. Privileged people hardly ever make innocent fun of people who do not have a certain privilege. Whatever its actual editorial make-up, the New Yorker represents dead white male power; so the cover represents dead white male power making fun of African-American people. Since dead white male power and all those who support it have a long, sordid history of making fun of African-American people, this cover joins that tradition of sexist, racist bigotry.
I E-mailed the New Yorker and the cartoonist [Barry Blitt] with the above message, which will do exactly shit.
EDIT: HAH! Blitt's mailbox is full. Looks like he's being roundly criticized [and probably praised from some quarters] by many others.
The commercial goes on to tell viewers how the Realize Band can help them get what they want. "Ask your doctor if bariatric surgery is right for you," the voiceover encourages. The commercial concludes with how wonderful the Realize Band is, especially since you can track your success and have a support group. Incidentally, "tracking your success" is accompanied by a picture on a user's computer screen of a line graph showing a steady trend downward. We also see an animated female morphing from fat to less fat.
This ad is offensive for so many reasons. Where do I start?
Why yes -- it's an Internet storefront run by white supremacists, a fact reinforced by the photos of satisfied customers giving straight-armed salutes. The militant, defensive, unreasoning hatred oozing from this site -- even though it pretends to be reasonable and balanced -- makes me feel queasy. I am distressed that some weirdo extremists want to glorify and relive what other people find interesting for historical, admonitory or just military reasons.
With Barack Obama cinching the Democratic nomination for President, he and his family now suffer even more scrutiny and bullshit from those who can't bear the thought of a black guy in the world's most powerful office. Michelle Obama Watch, a newly instituted blog, stays on top of one form of prejudice in particular: those attacks directed at Michelle Obama and the "wee Michelles" :D, Sasha and Malia. Stay on top of the poo-flinging from all quarters with this rapidly [and tragically] expanding Web site.
P.S. Ever since developing a minor obsession with the notoriously shielded Chelsea Clinton, who moved into the White House when she was a teenager just a few years younger than me, I've been particularly vigilant about the mainstream media's use of Presidential or possibly Presidential kids. I supported the Clintons' decision to privatize Chelsea as much as possible, and I continually applaud Chelsea's opacity and reserve in the face of the press constantly asking her stupid prying questions. I think that her parents' attempts to create a Poo-Flinging-Free Zone around Chelsea in her childhood allowed her to develop into the tough character that she is today. Now that she is an adult and the anti-poo shields are down, she clearly has a force field of determination and composure that allows her to resist the intrusive idiocy of the mainstream media.
I see the Obamas creating the same Poo-Free Zone for Sasha and Malia. While Sasha and Malia appear with their parents at campaign events and while their dad refers to them in interviews, both Sasha's mom and dad protect them from direct interrogation. They also do not exploit their girls as campaign symbols. I have hope that they will keep such vigilant protection around Sasha and Malia for as long as the Obamas remain in the political arena, not because the wee Michelles :D are delicate feminine flowers that can be shattered easily by animosity, but because they are kids who deserve a healthy environment in which to grow up. A healthy environment means one in which they can build realistic self-concepts without people constantly questioning and criticizing them.
All of this is to say that one of the recent entries in the Michelle Obama Watch especially unnerves me. It's the entry about an artist whose exhibit, The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama, included a picture of Sasha and Malia labeled "nappy-headed hos." It's bigoted and stupid and racist and objectionable to launch such nasty aspersions at any member of the Obama family, but it's especially bigoted, stupid, racist and objectionable to use these terms to describe the Obama daughters, who, as children under the age of all marks of adulthood [voting, driving, drinking, consenting], are minors without power or recourse to defend themselves from such stupidity. The artist's statement that he wanted to "raise dialog" about "substantive things" misses the point that name-calling people who are littler than you actually kills the opportunity for civil discourse, even if you think you're doing it ironically. Inflammatory language like "nappy-headed hos" makes you look like an insensitive douchebag who's so out of touch with reality that he doesn't realize the punishing power of language, especially when wielded by the powerful over the powerless.
I'm trying to think of a tag for entries that discuss "race," ethnic background, skin color and related stereotypes, bigotry, beliefs, etc.
What makes Viktoria “bizarre”? Is it her amputated leg? Is it the fact that she has an amputated leg and is still incredibly sexy? Or is it that she has an amputated leg and still considers herself a sexual person?
Excuse me while I sit here drooling over the way the man dramatically wipes his lipstick, making it trail across his face like an exposure of his secret skin and the way the woman discloses her bound breasts with a fluid movement, shucking her shirt as if it's petals of a flower. Found at Sociological Images.
Anyway, the "Attractions" section is fronted by a two-page spread that tries to guilt readers into consuming said attractions. I've scanned the pages below because I'm most interested in the way that the ad copy defines childhood, the supposed "problems" of childhood and "Attractions" as the cure.
...I never thought I'd see them copping to it in an ad of theirs. Can you guess what the ad below [by Haye and Partner, Unterhaching, Germany, ganked from Ad Goodness] is selling? Frankly, my first guess was "shit sandwiches." Fossilized sandwiches? Coprolite sandwiches? Answer below ad.
Topics of discussion: "sex sells," objectification, gender roles, mainstream commodification of BDSM subculture, differences between advertising norms in different countries.
Ready, set, discuss!!
Dunkelziffer creates a viscerally effective PSA about the importance of helping kids who experience sexual abuse. A slithering arm/penis thing, covered with hair and moles, appears at various points in a woman's life, leaving only when she's dead. Ad accurately transmits the deep disturbance and revulsion that survivors of abuse can feel in almost any situation, as well as the feelings of disgust, invasion and violation. Also great use of the arm/penis thing to depict how the abuse seems to take on a life of its own. One and a half minutes of pathos and horror.
The transman's self-ID as Christine rings false, though. Even though he says, "It's Christine!", it's NOT Christine. It USED TO BE Christine. Now it's whatever his current name is. If I were in that situation, I would say something like, "Hi, [FormerClassmate]! I'm [MyName]! We went to school together." Then I would talk generally from that commonality and explain a bit later that I used to be [MyFormerName] if [FormerClassmate] was still confused about how he knew me.
According to the copy, Svedka Vodka is right up there with clipping your toenails, taking out the trash, watching paint dry, doing laundry and all those other value-neutral activities that gay men would rather be doing than having sex with women. That's hardly a ringing endorsement. Heck, I don't even think this endorsement can reach the bell. If it does, it just bounces off like a foam ball, having made no sound on impact.
Svedka Vodka: Making useless, gratuitous, confrontational and meaningless comments about your sexuality since 2006.
Many of the pages feature items containing goats, such as the Ferris Wheel Coaster Goat, which combines a blindfolded rider, a toy goat, bleating sound effects and a starter's pistol, all in some gyroscope-like device, for maximum
I got this for Copyranter, a copiously illustrated stream of snark about modern advertising. Fun fun.
Last year Svedka Vodka [?] advertised on phone booths in New York City with some transgender robots. Svedka_Grl, a cute robot, claims, "I'm a gay man trapped in the body of a fembot." I don't buy it. He should just be able to buy some mechanical attachments. If humans can modify bodies that they feel trapped in, why can't robots who are made to be modified?
I will accept the trope of using the objectified female form to sell something unrelated, like alcohol, but why mention gay men? To do so puts the viewer's mind into a series of mental contortions to figure out what exactly that means. [It means that the bot will come on strong to straight guys because it's a "trapped gay guy."] It may be memorable, but it's not clever or humorous or useful. [Here's an example of a funnier use of transgender imagery -- offensive, yes, but also funny. Incidentally, why is it the vodka ads that show such penis-o-phobia?] Svedka apparently wanted to put "gay" in there to be edgy and hip, but they come across as copywriters flinging words wildly against a wall to see what will stick.