Posts in category Advertising

My Strength Is not for Hurting

This poster is from the new anti-rape campaign: "My strength is not for hurting." MyStrength is a project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. This awesome campaign puts responsibility for rape prevention where it belongs -- on the potential rapist. Learn more here:


All I Want for Christmas Is Less of this Crap

Recently, I posted the cover of 1994's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. While still thin, the models looked untouched by Photoshopped and not as perfectly flawless as the cover images of today. Here's another comparison from 1994 -- check out the striking differences between Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" music video from 1994 and the re-make from 2011. As you'll notice, "... the comparison reveals two trends: the rising emphasis placed on consumption and the new hyper-sexualization."

  Here's the original 1994 version. As Sociological Images notes:

"The first video involves Mariah mostly bounding around in the snow in a snow suit. Often acting pretty darn goofy, with dogs and Santa. She spends part of the video inside with kids, a Christmas tree, presents, and more animals. She’s usually wearing a sweater. She spends less than (I’m guessing) 10 seconds of the video in a sexy Mrs. Claus outfit and, when she’s wearing it, it looks like she’s got long johns on her legs."



And here's the new version for 2011. In the new video:

"Instead of a snowy field or an intimate home, the video takes place in a shopping mall. It centrally features a Nintendo product. Likewise, instead of bounding around in the snow like a goof, she spends the entire video up against a wall in super high heels and the sexy Mrs. Claus outfit (except this one doesn’t have sleeves or a midriff). At one point she runs her hand down her body, touching her breast and moving down to her crotch; at another she just leans against the wall with her back to us and swings her butt back and forth."



Advertising Sells

“Man Card”

This is an ad by Bushmaster, maker of the .223 caliber semiautomatic rifle that was used to kill 27 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last Friday. Bushmaster thinks buying an assault rifle will give you back your "man card".




PETA - People who believe in the ethical treatment of animals & the unethical treatment of women ...


“Love Your Body”?



We see photos like this all the time in the media. Many of us compare our "flawed" bodies with the model's seemingly "perfect" one, & then feel like crap. But here's a reality check that shows how this model morphed into "perfect":
1) nose narrowed
2) breasts enlarged & brought closer together
3) protruding ribs removed
4) waist narrowed
5) belly pooch flattened
6) skintone lightened & smoothed out
7) hips made curvier
8) inner thighs slimmed

Toys for Girls & Toys for Boys

Buzzfeed has compiled a collection of "16 Ways the Toy Industry Is Stuck in the Stone Age". In spite of how much social progress women have achieved, toy makers haven't gotten the memo. They're still defining playtime for girls and playtime for boys along strict gender lines, and they amount to something like this: "Girls: please clean the kitchen. Boys: do science. ... Boys: guitars, war, roller coasters. Girls: pink home decor, baking."

(Note how the pink "My Cleaning Trolley" says it's for "Girls Only". Yeah, no shit.)

Check out the rest here.

How to Subjugate a Body

Kate Moss – Before & After Photoshop

Bad Ad

This commercial could easily be confused with the juvenile & sexist ads for Carl's Jr. But this company doesn't sell burgers.

You'd think that a luxury cars maker would want their brand associated with class and elegance -- not juvenile humor and tacky stereotypes about frumpy smart women and dumb blondes. Way to be classy, Mercedes. :/

No One

400 Advertisements


Purple Paper Project – Planters


I recently posted a Purple Paper Project ad for Yankee's "man candles". Now, here's another pointlessly gendered product -- mixed nuts.


Apparently, the best campaign slogan that Planters could come up with was: "The manliest mix we've ever assembled". Wow, that's weak. They're trying to sell nuts to guys! How hard can it be? (snicker) Where's the creativity ... or at least some juvenile humor? Fortunately, I can help!:

  • • Available in a canister or in a box of six individual nut sacks!
  • • These nuts aren't for women!
  • • Grab Planters' nuts today!
  • • Are you manly enough to put our nuts in your mouth?
  • • Please, bite our salty nuts!

Planters, feel free to have your marketing department contact me for more.



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Purple Paper Project – Purex

Not every guy has a mommy or a wife who does their laundry, so either there are lots of guys running around in filthy rags or they're actually washing their own clothes. It's time for ads to start reflecting reality. Real men do laundry, Purex, so you can make cartoon men do it too.

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Purple Paper Project – Arrowhead


Arrowhead wants you to know that women get super-excited over the simplest things.


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Purple Paper Project – Simply One

Women are often reminded in subtle & not-so-subtle ways that we're supposed to be selfless & put everyone's needs before our own. Today's Purple Paper Project for Simply One vitamins is one example.


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Purple Paper Project – Olay

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Purple Paper Project – Lysol

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Purple Paper Project – Procter & Gamble


Minimizing the athletic abilities of female Olympic gold medal winners by focusing on their appearance ...



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Purple Paper Project – Crest

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Purple Paper Project – Bissell

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Purple Paper Project – L’Oreal & Garnier

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Purple Paper Project – Yankee Man Candles

I originally created the Purple Paper Project to critique the way advertisers market to women, but after receiving this new ad in my inbox today, I just couldn't resist!  

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Purple Paper Project – Oscar Meyer

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Purple Paper Project – Chocolate

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Still not satisfied? Read this related post: "Epi-Curious? 10 Foods that Women Want to Have Sex With"

Epi-Curious? 10 Foods Women Want to Have Sex With


I recently launched the Purple Paper Project, an "ad campaign" that critiques the way advertisers market to women. In a separate post about advertising, I wrote that "In our image-and-diet-obsessed culture, indulgences like chocolate are forbidden. ... What do you think happens when we’re culturally pressured to be chocolate virgins? We turn into chocolate whores, of course." While all of the following ads show women pleasuring themselves with food, those marketed to women imply that it's a personal and private indulgence. However, the ads created from the perspective of a male viewer depict women seductively eating in a way that vicariously pleasures men. See if you can tell them apart (there is some overlap). Here are the top 10 hottest foods for women:


1. York Peppermint Patty


Woman passionately rips the wrapper off the so-cool-it's-hot peppermint patty. She takes a whiff and her eyes roll back into her head (in a good way). She bites the patty and clutches the wrapper like a bedsheet as her eyes dilate and she gives her O-face. Narrator: "York Peppermint Patty. Get the Sensation." Yeah, I think she just did.



2. Ghirardelli Squares Chocolate 


This chocolate has the "ingredients for the most intense chocolate experience" (read: best orgasm). Narrator: "Take time to enjoy your Ghirardelli squares chocolate slowly ... very slowly." Tagline: Ghirardelli. Moments of timeless pleasure." Ladies, this is a chocolate to make love to, not just fuck like a cheap peppermint patty. Because this chocolate's all classy and shit.



3. Dove Chocolate


(Cue bow-chika-wow-wow music) Woman takes a bite. This seems to trigger all-over-body groping from a flowing ribbon of silky chocolate ... yes, even right between her legs. Wow, some chocolates have balls. Narrator: "Only a chocolate this pure can be this silky and make you savor, sigh, melt." Tagline: "My moment. My Dove." You can be damn sure she just had a moment with her Dove.



4. Lindt's Lindor Truffles


This chocolate is "created with passion by Lindt's master(bating?) chocolatiers" -- one of whom stares disturbingly at a chocolate-covered whisk like he's planning to use it in a passionate way. Narrator: "When you break its shell, Lindor's smooth center begins to melt ... and so will you." Tagline: "Do you dream in chocolate?" (Unofficial tagline: "Do you wet dream in chocolate?")



5. Dove Ice Cream


Ah, another adgasm from Dove. The woman stares into the camera as she seductively opens her mouth and pleasures the ice cream bar, and then bites into it (ouch!) She finger-feeds herself and puts the stick between her teeth like a Flamenco dancer's red rose. Tagline: same as the Dove chocolate ad above -- "Your moment. Your Dove" -- but this ad says to share your "moment" on Facebook. I'd recommend against sharing, especially if you ever plan to run for public office.



6. Magnum Ice Cream


While stuck in traffic, Rachel Bilson jumps barefoot from car to car, so she can blow an ice cream bar. (Side note: Magnum is also a brand of condoms, so if you use them together, the ice cream has zero calories!) Narrator: "Nothing will keep you from Magnum." Not even criminal charges from damaging a police vehicle and several other cars, abandoning your own car in the middle of the road, or inciting a riot. Tagline: "Magnum: For pleasure seekers." I hope it was worth it.



7. Lay's Potato Chips


Woman flirtatiously opens up the bag and bites her lip as either the chips or Al Green serenades her with: "I'm so in love with you, whatever you want to do is alright with me." That's good, because she's in the mood to get ... lay-ed. Narrator: "One taste and you're in love." She should try Ruffles next time -- they're ribbed for her pleasure.



8. Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Six-Dollar Burger


Padma Lakshmi strolls through an outdoor market. "I've always had a love affair with food," she says. After sitting down on a front stoop, she begins a girl-on-burger makeout session. The burger drips special sauce on her, and she licks it off. Narrator: "Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Six-Dollar Burger: More than just a piece of meat." How very clever. Hardee-har-har.



9. Disaronno Amaretto


One drink makes the list. In this ad, the bartender tries to take the woman's glass away after she finishes, but she stops him so she can seductively suck the last drops of amaretto off an ice cube. Narrator: "Disaronno's warm and sensual (sexual?) taste makes you wish it would never end."After enough drinks, you'll wish it ended sooner. Tagline: "Disaronno -- pass the pleasure around" ... along with the STDs.



10. Baby Carrots


Yes, it's an ad for carrots. In this tongue-in-cheek (tongue-on-carrot?) ad, the woman gets freaky with Bugs Bunny's favorite treat. (What's up with that, Doc?) As the woman strokes a carrot up her own arm, the female narrator says: "Feel that feeling -- you know the feeling," to which the male narrator answers: "It's overt sexual innuendo." I just hope they don't move up to adult carrots ... or fingerling potatoes. That would just be dirty.



BONUS: Axe Dark Temptation Body Spray


Although this is technically not a food, it still makes the list. Guy sprays on Axe, which turns him into Irresistible Chocolate Man. As he walks down the street, he breaks off pieces of himself and feeds them to women. Then women start grabbing licks and bites for themselves. These two women go for the ears first, just like a chocolate Easter bunny. Tagline: "As irresistible as chocolate. New Axe Dark Temptation." Wonder if he's solid or if he has some kind of filling?



Purple Paper Project – Dimetapp & Robitussin

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Purple Paper Project – Pantene

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Purple Paper Project – Bosch

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Purple Paper Project – Garnier Skin Renew

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Purple Paper Project – Resolve

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Purple Paper Project – Spanx

(Thank you to E. for sending in this ad! :)


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Purple Paper Project – L’Oreal Magic Lumi

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Purple Paper Project – Cottonelle



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Purple Paper Project – Sephora



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Purple Paper Project – Nivea

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Purple Paper Project – Windex



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Purple Paper Project – Snackwell’s

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Purple Paper Project – Playskool & Hasbro


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Purple Paper Project – Swiffer

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Purple Paper Project – Dove Deodorant

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Purple Paper Project – French’s

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Purple Paper Project – Always



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Purple Paper Project – L’Oreal Couleur Experte



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Purple Paper Project – GoodNites


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Purple Paper Project – La Salsa


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Purple Paper Project – Mamma Bella



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Purple Paper Project – Rimmel & Garnier


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Courage to be Real Campaign



This is me. Don't think for one second that posting a picture of myself with dirty hair, no makeup, and in unflattering lighting didn't take some ovaries! Like many women, I've struggled with not feeling pretty enough, thin enough, perfect enough. I'll be the first to admit that I think I look the best in the photo on the right. It's the photo I use on the back of my book and on the About Me page of this website. I am definitely a product of our beauty-obsessed culture. But this is also me sacrificing my vanity for the greater good. How can I talk about body acceptance and the need to fight against sexist and oppressive imagery if I'm not being real with myself? It takes courage to be real. So everyone, this is what I look like in the morning. Deal with it.


The media manufacture female insecurity for profit. They invent flaws in our appearance and pressure us to fix them. They segment the female body as if it were a bucket of chicken -- we're just legs and breasts and thighs. They convince us that our bodies are too meaty and fatty, our skin is too greasy, and our hair is too fried. They manipulate us with idealized images of hot chicks who were perfected by plastic surgeons, injectable facial fillers and paralyzers, professional photographers, makeup artists, special lighting, hair stylists, fashion designers, and finally photoshopping. And then we compare our real selves with this illusion. It's not a fair fight.


A woman's appearance is always treated as relevant. Tabloids critique female celebrities for gaining weight or having the "worst beach body". The Playmate of the Year is featured on the evening news. Political commentators assess female candidates' appearance almost as much as their political beliefs. We're trained to think that our sexuality is our primary source of power. I discuss this in my upcoming book, If Beauty Is Inside, Why Do We Hate Our Guts?: Pop Culture, Sexism, & Power. In the recent documentary Miss Representation, the filmmaker also examines how our culture's sexualization of women actually minimizes our power in society. Just think about it -- if the most powerful women in the country are reduced to their looks, how can any of us expect to be treated with respect?


It starts with respecting ourselves and having the courage to be real. We have to stop allowing the media to define us in such a superficial and demeaning way. When we pull back the curtain, we see that the sculpted and perfected illusion is just a real woman who has more in common with us than we think.


I wasn't exactly excited to share my naked face with the Internet, but I put together the above image so that you could see the reality behind the special effects. I'd love to see models and celebrities do the same, but their careers depend on them maintaining the illusion. So for now, maybe it'll just be up to us regular women. And that brings us to Beauty Is Inside's new "Courage to be Real" Campaign!


The "Courage to be Real" Campaign is about cracking the illusion of perfection that makes us hate our bodies and compete with each other. I challenge you to be courageous and send in "before and after" photos of yourselves, along with what was manipulated in the "after" photo. Send your photos to I'll collect them all in a photo gallery on this site, and I'll also post them on the Beauty Is Inside Facebook page and on Twitter @_BeautyIsInside.


Come on -- if I did it, so can you! Together, we can inspire other women and girls to have the courage to be real themselves.

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