Back in 2007 Dolce & Gabbana released a seriously disturbing ad campaign that has now resurfaced. The images seem to be portraying scenes out of a gang rape, how hot right?
No. We certainly don’t think so. And neither did the Advertising Self-Discipline Institute (IAP) who banned the ad because of “the passive and helpless position of the woman relative to the men around her, and the representation of abuse or the idea of violence towards her”.
It all started when designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce made some ignorant comments about children born through IVF, calling them “synthetic”. They managed to upset some pretty important people including Elton John and it didn’t take long for a twitter storm to start.
America’s Next Top Model judge Kelly Cutrone was one of many who took to twitter to voice their opinion on the matter and hence brought up the disturbing 2007 ad.
Regardless of whether the ad was intended as a simulation of a consensual gangbang, it is pretty clear that the general vibe is creepy as sh*t and it sends out a very degrading message towards women by reinforcing the idea of women being submissive servants to the male sexuality. This is a blatantly horrid glamorization of rape culture in which women are seen as objects with no personal will and men are supposed to aspire to be dominant and predatory.
Feminist writer Louise Pennington can add to that
“Those who suggest this image is harmless fail to recognize the reality of rape culture and dehumanization of women’s bodies in our pornographic mainstream media”
Sexually explicit advertising is nothing new in the 21st Century but unfortunately it is increasingly taking the form of mainstream pornography, which is typically degrading and dehumanizing; take American Apparel for example.
Even if these ads spark controversy and garner attention, is that really worth the price we’re paying for it? Or the price that millions of women across the globe are paying from suffering at the hands of abusers who fail to see the wrong in their actions because the media and society taught them that women are no more than sexual objects?
If you see something that’s not worth your money, you can always tweet the company your thoughts using the #NotBuyingIt hashtag. Your voice counts.