Via elephant journal
on Apr 24, 2010
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Dolce Grabbonya.

perfume ad feminist


Perfume ad or Gangbang as sexual allure?

It’s the kind of ad that makes coming on inappropriately to our sisters and daughters and friends seem…alluring.

The men watching, the hand pushing her arm down—this ad goes beyond sexual, beyond objectification…and dangerously close to hinting at rape.

With anti-kudos to the above, and kudos for the tip to my new favorite site of the moment, A Little Honey.

A few other badads via Feministing and friends:

tom ford feministing feminist

Interestingly, both of the above ads come not via heterosexual patriarchy, but via gay men—D & G, at top, Tom Ford’s cologne, above left. That point and others are noted here. It gets even less subtle with Tom Ford crotch ads—too…ew to show here (click at your own peril).

Kinda makes you miss the good old days, when ads had some real romance, style, and beauty. And mystery.

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20 Responses to “Badvertising.”

  1. Oohh, Melanie, there you are, I'd looove for you to share or crosspost on ele? We need your pov on here.

  2. Pat says:

    the ad for Tom is really ugly. She is so skinny, you can see her implants. Are implants like that sexy to men? Sure looks weird to me.

  3. Sure…we can cross-post or I can submit a new post for ele. Let me know.

  4. Would absolutely love both or either. My email is waylon at elephantjournal com…I'll email you.

  5. Anna says:

    ummm, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, etc…have been doing ads like this FOREVER. It's their style, hard sexy and glossy. This is nothing new and although it may scream rape to you, it certainly has an edge and makes people notice, which in business is the point. I do not really see rape here, I see domination. I have also seen plenty of D&G ads that are quite the opposite with women domineering the men, so really?? This is what Elephant is writing about now? Please stick to what you know- yoga, the environment, protecting biodiversity and the local/slow movement.

  6. Oscar says:

    I stopped reading written press way back in 1993, when I realized that 50% of weekend spanish journals were covered with this crap.The whole thing has gone completely nuts, every effing ad is shooting and flirting with our 2nd (fuck) and 3rd (dominate) chakra.. which, of course, seem the energies dominating """"industrialized wold""". 2nd and 3rd chakra everywhere to the point we see these selling techniques completely acceptable. That's what have yoga (as a moral philosophy, remember there are yamas and niyamas) has to do with this, Anna, and hence, Elephant.

  7. jon says:

    I'm not sure if this ad is absolutely the worst thing ever or if it's the most honest ad ever. Either way, I hope I'm not their targeted demographic:

  8. elle says:

    Have you posted this yet?? I'm looking forward to reading on… (:

  9. elephantjournal says:

    We stick to what we do: write about living a good life that's good for others, and our planet—and call out anything that isn't. But thanks for your condescension, anonymous Anna.

  10. Laura says:

    I think it's a hot ad.

  11. advperson says:

    those guys are clearly not gang banging her….at best they're trying to steal her dress.

  12. Louis Krodel says:

    No,It is my opinion supprted by looking at what men chose on various porn sites — and from a review in the book "A Billion Wicked Thoughts" and from my years of looking at porn and specifically breasts is that large breasts and normal sized women are the norm. What is lost in the discussion is that for adult men (and women), the breast is both erotic and comforting. It seems one of the most frequented categories is BBW (big beutiful women),; then there are natural breasts, hangers – breasts that hang down — also known as floopy breasts; then there are those men who are focused more on nipples and areola — and the many men who love erotic lactation.

  13. Louis Krodel says:

    One other observation. A picture like this is ripe for projecting our ideas, feelings and attitudes. Another interpretation is it is picture of voyeuristic men watch an exhibitionists couple.

  14. Robin says:

    What if…just maybe…there are people who have **gasp!!!*** rape or domination fantasies?

    Is the world going to spin off it’s axis if people have rape fantasies, or if couture fashion panders to that desire in ads?

    Really? Seriously? What is the problem? Not enough shame spread around already?

  15. Ryyn says:

    Anxiety has been known to be confused with sexual arousal. (Weiten, Wayne, Doug McCann. Psychology: Themes and Variations, 3rd Edition. Toronto, Canada: Nelson Education. 2013.)

  16. Ryyn says:

    Thank you for posting this. This sort of ad is DEFINITELY part of rape culture. I feel that it is best to dissect the piece as a commentary on culture as a response to some of the previous comments here. Of course this is merely a critique that is open to debate, however there are strong indicators that it is not a "exhibitionists couple"-if it were would he be wearing sunglasses? Would he be pinning her arm down? Probably not. They would probably be embraced lovingly and gazing into each others eyes. Her legs are also tightly closed, and her gaze is averted; no one looks happy. These cues give me a pretty strong idea that this is not consensual. Whether we reversed the binary gender roles of this ad or not, consent is still necessary for every intimate moment and this ad does not even hint that she has a choice. This piece also doesn't teach about safe words. If it did, this ad would have a disclaimer, it would have anticipated the type of criticism because it cared and would have said "Ah! But we made sure it was okay and took precautions!". What is a safe word you might ask? Besides not being taught to say yes to intimacy in the school system, a lot of people out there have also never heard of a safe word. In the kink(non vanilla, totally out there, just a little twisted and whatever else you want to call it) world, this is a must because sometimes "no" doesn't mean "no" or you aren't speaking(gagged perhaps). A safe word facilitates the meaning of "stop/no/this is not okay". Without a safe word, "rape fantasies" can be just as damaging as a "real rape"-the key factor being something non-consensual happened. In conclusion fellow commentators, I encourage you to go beyond the lens a take a real look at the bigger picture here at what this ad teaches.

  17. Laura Lago says:

    If there is even a question as to whether this ad suggests rape then why the discussion? Haven’t we had enough!

  18. Lauren says:

    Come on Anna. You don't see gang rape here? I mean really, if this is what is normal then don't you think it's time to change the norm? If publications like Elephant didn't show these then people like me would never know how bad the mainstream ads have become since I don't read idiot magazines and barely watch T.V. Thank you Elephant for showing me how disrespectful these fashion/ advertising idiots have become.