Some thoughts on advertising, unconnected to my current work, NSFW

I’m currently beavering away at putting together a plan for assignment 3, but alongside this I have also been doing some technical learning to improve my skills and picking up some other ideas which have no bearing on my current place in the course. There’s one thought that I need to get down on the blog for future work.

Please do not click on the link below if you are offended by images of full frontal male nudes.

I found this fascinating, as it appears to be a serious, genuine fashion show by one of the handbag designers, Louwe at the Madrid Fashion Show a few years ago. Understandably, it is a very popular link on gay sites. Nude women have been a feature of fashion advertising (and just about all other advertising too)for many years, so much so that we hardly blink when we see them, but it is extremely unusual to see men in this way. I’ve tried to find some background as to what the message of the show was meant to be without success, so I am going to make a few guesses here.

  • they used nude male models to be sensationalist and to shock, and thus to get more news coverage
  • they thought it would be different and jokey

However, if the idea was to show off the handbags, the idea went spectacularly wrong. I defy any heterosexual female to be able to be able to report anything much about the bags on first viewing. All that naked male flesh strutting down the runway is impossible to ignore because it is so outside our normal experience. The concept manages to put men into exactly the same position of being subject to The Gaze as women have routinely been for most of history and it is a very unsettling feeling for both sexes. I imagine that the models and men in general feel very exposed by it, while as a woman it makes me wonder if this is how women in general are perceived by men (in general), especially when women are wearing body-hugging or limited attire. Fashion runways are routinely filled with nearly or wholly naked women, and it is hardly remarked upon. In the arts, the situation is similar. Although there is room for the occasional male nude, numbers are miniscule compared to naked females.

I haven’t yet done the section on The Gaze, and I would be interested to know what other students a bit further along in the course would say about it.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Some thoughts on advertising, unconnected to my current work, NSFW

  1. Sarah-Jane Field

    I laughed a lot … it’s ludicrous! Reminds of something from Bruno (pisstake fashionista by Sasha Baron Cohen). I’ve written a lot about the Gaze. How interesting is find this super funny. I’ll send you a link to artist who gathered naked women en masse when on mac again

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