Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Follow up from previous post--violence in advertisements

My most recent post included a number of advertisements--specifically the recent hair ad which minimizes the black eye the woman has with the statement, "Look good in all you do." When this ad was recently published there was an outcry (thankfully!). The owner of Fluid Hair Salon of course reported that no harm was meant. Why, though, would the implication of intimate partner violence be needed when advertising for a hair salon? "Look good at all you do." What is this even supposed to mean? Is the message: make sure you have nice hair and are dressed nicely when your partner decides to hit you?

I recognize and support the right to free speech (as the owner of the salon cites). I am all for it! But, as I've heard many times before: just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should. This is an important lesson, I think.

Fluid Hair Salon has published a number of other ads in which women are depicted in more empowering situations (though of course the women are sexualized--as usual). Take a look:

Now, Fluid Salon is known for their edgy and controversial ads. While the most recent ad showing IPV makes me particularly unhappy and uncomfortable and quite frankly angry, Fluid has published other ads that I also find distasteful. Such as the below ad featuring homelessness or homicide.

(Note: I believe the above ad resembles a sex a worker--which is, in my opinion, horrible too.)

Now, in the previous post I made a point to include a number of other ads from years past that also demonstrated violence against women.  Some ads may be more subtle (such as the ad where the man is firmly grabbing the woman's face), while others are quite blatant (as was the case with the Fluid ad).  The messages of violence are all around us. While I applaud those individuals that stated their dissatisfaction over the Fluid ad, I remain concerned that there are so many other advertisements like this one that stay under the radar and are accepted widely.  In my opinion, advertisements depicting gang rape, IPV, sexual objectification and the like are simply crossing the line. Why would these scenes be important to the ad agencies anyway? Seriously.

Interestingly, there is an organization specific to hair salons that fights IPV.  Check out the organization--Cut It Out.

For another good article on the Fluid ad, check this out. (There's a video included as well.)

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