new Yves Saint Laurent ads deemed degrading (and International Women’s Day)

Advertisements in this country have been sexist and degrading for decades. But it’s only recently that people have begun twittering (tweeting?) over them. Here are two new controversial ads that have just been pulled.YSL one

“Gee,” I say to myself, “What exactly is the ad for? Fishnet pantyhose? Underpants? Roller skates?” Here’s the second one –

YSL bis

Raphaëlle Rémy-Leleu, spokeswoman for “Osez le Féminisme!” (Dare Feminism!), says the following – “This publicity ticks all the boxes of a sexist advertisement: hyper-sexualisation, woman reduced to an object, position of submission … It is symbolically very violent.”

As well as demeaning, these ads are just plain stupid. I’m at a loss to know what it is I’m supposed to be buying. I’m at a loss to know what the message is. What I do know is that if founding designer Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, is watching, he must be turning in his grave. To have his name associated with this drek is just plain shameful.

What I find equally stupid are gigantic posters of gun-wielding actors in my face as I make my way around this city (and other cities). As much as I love American films, I resent the glorification of weapons. Guns are flaunted like fashion accessories. Just last night I watched a documentary film on TV about guns and gang violence in Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood. Guns are not glamorous. 


If I were to send a message to the ad agency (or to the cretin who dreamed up the above Saint Laurent ad campaigns), I’d sarcastically write, “Thanks for inspiring us. In this violent, misogynistic world that we live in today (echos of an American president – You can do anything … grab them by the pussyyour images of a woman’s splayed legs, her crotch, her anorexic legs and arse in the air are truly stirring and elevating. It’s representations like these – especially on International Women’s Day – that we really need. Imagine teenagers seeing this trash. Truly uplifting. Merci beaucoup.”

There’s so much stupidity in the world that I think it’s wearing us all down, I know I’m fed up. I’m still searching for an island to retire to (when the time comes.)

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