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Super-ads, or 3 politically incorrect readings of a lady’s underwear March 19, 2008

Posted by oblia in Peregrinatio 1.
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8ish January, 2007. University Square, Bucharest. At the metro/subway exit to Coltea Hospital, just as you head for Rosetti Square, there’s a billboard picturing a woman in her bra and panties (red lace, if I’m not mistaken). Slim, shiny, ultrasexy body, no trace of fat, not one additional grain of it, absolutely 100% cellulite-free, you could almost sssssssniff the feline suppleness off the billboard, which would, alas, hijack God knows how many eyes, minds and desires in passing (let me repeat, on your way to Piata Rosetti, ok?)! You know: one of those perfect bodies they use for ads, which send us, ordinary females, into a rightful rage and stirs heated feminist debates in the academia. The slogan read: “For the body. For the soul” (no kidding). It was an ad for lady’s underwear, a brand that’s (locally, at least) quite well-known: Triumph. And just over the billboard lady’s pubic area a Hand had written this in English, in big black capital letters: “YOU HAVE NO FEELINGS”.

Now, my question is: who on earth was the Hand?

Reading no. 1: The Hand was a macho. Not just any macho, but one who wants to be LOVED by his woman, get it? They want to be loved because they know best, and only they know best, how to love a woman, get it? So they go for a loving woman, not just any tart, get it? And if they put that screamingly sexy woman in red panties in the centre of the city thinking they would trap his tiger libido, well they were darn wrong! Ya know why? ‘Cuz that woman has NO feelings, man, and she can’t make no fool of him, get it? So he wrote that there, just that blunt, “you have no feelings”, for other less experienced machos to see it, so they know and stay away from that kind of women!

Reading no. 2: The Hand was a voyeur. How come? Well, you know, voyeurs are usually shy guys, probably wearing glasses and most likely ugly enough to realise they’d better stay away from attractive women, if they don’t want to get traumatised by repeat rejection and become losers for life. And then their entire idea of pleasure has to get so twisted, under the circumstances, that they can only feel satisfied when seeing female flesh without being seen themselves. Seeing-while-not-being-seen’s the catch, see? So imagine our coy shy voyeur going home after work and feeling the palms of his hands sweating just at the prospect of peering through his binoculars at his lady neighbour living opposite his house, when, bang!, lady flesh just hits him in the middle of the street, in full daylight, and he’s staring and there’s no secrecy left at all, the very catch of his entire idea of pleasure explodes into a thousand splinters just because of that overt, obvious billboard picture of female flesh. At which he’s staring while people can see him staring at it. So of course our now destroyed voyeur would fumble in his bag, get out a black marker and write a message to that ad’s makers: “you have no feelings”. Of course: they ruined his pleasure!

Reading no. 3: The Hand was a woman. An ordinary-looking woman like you and me, right? Not too thin, not too plump, just an ordinary woman. In her thirties, say. She has a partner but, as girl-talk about diets, anti-cellulite treatment and the unavailability of sizes bigger than maximum 38 in fashionable clothes stores is on the rise at the office, as well as in glossy magazines, a sneaky feeling is gaining ground in her mind: “maybe I should start doing something about me, or else…” So she keeps comparing the way she looks with the way women in glossy magazines or TV shows or charity events look, and she can’t help noticing, day by day, the annoying, and apparently ever multiplying extra grams and centimetres. She’s now convinced that her body is wrong, in its present shape, a walking certificate to her being rejected, not liked, not desired, nor desirable. With that conviction on her mind (maybe her partner has already walked out on her, by now), she passes by the flawlessly feline billboard lady. Humiliated once more. She wants to go on her way, but tears come up into her eyes. Sho stops. She shakes her bowed head, bitterly, she deliberately reaches for that black marker at the bottom of her bag, determinedly steps up to the billboard and puts it down there, finally! “You [female beauty shapers] have no feelings.”

Or, to make a long story short:

Dear copywriters, art directors and creative directors,

You’ve used female nudity to sell for quite a while now. It’s not that “creative” anymore, really. Give us a break. A long one!

Thank you.

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