Lifestyle

What if fashion ads were sexist toward men?

A new social campaign draws attention to the way women are portrayed in fashion advertising.

We see sexism in advertising so often, it takes something particularly offensive for us to notice when things have gone too far.

As part of a think piece they wrote for social change website TakePart, writers Holly Eagleson and Lauren Wade recreated infamous fashion ads by replacing the objectified women with men. It makes a shocking statement on what the public, and advertising standards, find acceptable.

Most of the recreated campaigns were made by two of the fashion industry’s most controversial figures of late – photographer Terry Richardson, and ex-American Apparel CEO Dov Charney. Richardson is infamous for the allegations of sexual harassment that follow his every move, while Charney was sacked from the company he created amid financial strain (and a handful of ‘sexual transgression’ allegations).

“Charney and Richardson are really representative of a specific form of sexism and objectification in media today,” Wade told The Huffington Post.

“Their collaborations, in particular for American Apparel, depict women in sexually vulnerable, pornographic positions where a lot of the model’s facial expressions look like they’ve been drugged or they’re drunk.”

“These images are predatory. They depict women being taken advantage of and it’s supposed to look ‘sexy’ and sell sweatshirts?” she added.

The duo hope companies will rethink the unnecessary sexualisation of women in their ad campaigns.

“I think Photoshopping men’s faces and bodies into these ads points a finger at how ridiculously demoralising they are,” Wade continued.

“My hope in pointing this finger is to spark and keep a conversation going – especially among women. I think as a whole we’ve just gotten used to seeing women depicted this way and the only way we can change it is if we stop staying silent and demand change.”

Here’s hoping their work affects the change for good.