18.9.08

Do elephants have breasts?

Members of European Parliament want TV regulators in the EU to set guidelines which would see the end of anything deemed to portray women as sex objects or reinforce gender stereotypes.

This could potentially mean an end to attractive women advertising perfume.

Such classic adverts as the Diet Coke commercial featuring the bare-chested builder, or Wonderbra’s Hello Boys featuring model Eva Herzigova would have been banned.

I am all for protesting against such stereotypes. But why can attractive women not advertise perfumes? In fact it sends out the message that however good-looking you are you could still do with some fragrance. And the Wonderbra is a product meant for a certain purpose and therefore would require a woman who lives up to it.

If we have problems with these ads, then we ought to have problems with the products themselves.

In India we continue have ads that show women doing the housework. That is far more stereotyping.

Looks do not constitute “artificial roles”. They are an extension of one's own persona. People have been choosing to enhance their appearance for ages. The hair extensions and kohl of today owe it to ancient Egyptians.

If we really wish to object, there are other reasons. The most exploitative are the PETA ads. The new one is to save elephants where the actress Celina Jaitley’s breasts have been boosted digitally. She is shackled in chains and dressed minimally.

According to a report:

Our source, who has worked on the PETA campaign, tells us, "One needs to do these things to attract attention to a glaring issue. We have deliberately done this."

Responding to the jumbo size of her assets, the actress was completely calm when we called her on the telephone. "I was not aware of it, but now that you tell, yes, my breasts do look different. But I have done it for a good cause. I don't think it should be much of an issue," said she.

Of course, it is a good cause. The actress, the organisation, the ad agencies will benefit. And if the grey elephant was the concern here, then she should not have exposed human skin wearing hot pants.

I don’t know how many people will not poach elephants only because of such ads. Who knows, some weird character might go looking for a pachyderm with boobs just like these.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In India we continue have ads that show women doing the housework"

self-loathing is a common trait among Indians but the ads for toilet cleaning liquids,household cleaning objects like dusters in the US/Canada show only women.Even the health drink ads for kids show only a concerned mother,not a concerned dad.But this is the era of protests and grievances....

Pune S said...

FV:

But why can attractive women not advertise perfumes? In fact it sends out the message that however good-looking you are you could still do with some fragrance.

That is some logic! Never looked at it this way.

About Pamela Anderson and her ilk posing nude for PETA, I've wondered for long as to how that helps the cause? Btw, what is PETA's cause and don't they draw more attention to their celebrities and their provocative posters than their stated cause?

kb said...

Most such organizations thrive on publicity. You are being too idealistic

FV said...

Anon:

I don't understand your reference to self-loathing among Indians in this context.

PS:

The logic is that 'lookism' cannot ignore other 'flaws' that might and do exist.

About PETA, your guess is as good as mine.

KB:

I am a cynical idealist.

andy said...

ah well!! js another boobytrap 4m da ad agencies, innit?