I’m warning you now that I don’t really have anything articulate to say about the following photo. This is sign I saw walking through Wicker Park last weekend in Chicago:
I feel vaguely assaulted. This is my sunday afternoon. It’s raining, I’m drinking my coffee, I’m doing errands, I don’t want to have to confront the hypersexual idealized form of this woman that American Apparel seems to want me to want to be. I’m not in the mood to soapbox about body diversity. I’m not in the mood to rant about what I think it does to girls when this is the image they see over and over again. Why am I still surprised by these things? This is not new. This is not different. I see this everywhere and I am bothered by it every single time.
There are kids around and this is not what I want them to think is “how to be sexy.” Wear a bathing suit and high heels. Have long mermaid hair. Be thin. Bend over. This is not how I feel sexy and I don’t think it’s how most women feel sexy (though, as always, if pulling this posture gets you going, be my guest). I don’t even think this is what most men find sexy. I think this is an extremely narrow vision of sexy cooked up by a porn-soaked graphic designer and a brand that picks campaigns that consistently stage women as objects just waiting for sex:
Yes, yes, yes, I know… sex sells. I get that. This is not a plea for modesty or celibacy or anything so extreme. This is a plea for some sense of time and place, for context and propriety. There is room for sexuality in advertising, but there is no room in my Sunday stroll for a bent-over cartoon woman holding her ankles. Put that shit away.
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