Nearly each night on my show (weeknights 7-10pm), I do a segment called Should I Be Offended? When doing prep for the show, I always find stories where the author tells me I should I be as outraged as they are! An injustice has been done! Racism is being exposed! Sexism is rampant! A laundry list of complaints. This week, there’s been a lot of stories about sexism. So, should I be offended?
The Huffington Post’s Alanna Vagianos says an ad by SuitSupply, a Dutch Company, is the most sexist ad she’s ever seen. In fact, she says the company “has us slamming our heads against our desks…”
So what’d they do that’s so bad?
The new ads for SuitSupply are full of bikini-clad models surrounding one man dressed in a dapper, well tailored suit. He’s surrounded by attractive women wearing wet button-down shirts, bikini bottoms and nothing else.
“After so many months of freezing cold and snow, you may have forgotten what summer even looks like,” Suitsupply founder and CEO Fokke de Jong says on the site. “Our vibrant new collection should serve as a welcome reminder of the warmer days ahead. Plus, the way we shot it ought to put a smile on your face.”
The company also has an uncensored version of the campaign on its website. In these photos, the models are topless.
Cut to the outrage:
“It’s a shame your advertising technique is so sexist, because your clothes are actually quite nice. But I guess if you can’t sell men’s clothing without showing naked women, you probably need to start making some nicer looking clothes,” a critic wrote on Suitsupply’s Facebook page, as reported by the NY Daily News.
PolicyMic’s Elizabeth Plank writes, “The result is an ad campaign that only a guy who still idolizes Stifler could appreciate.”
And, of course, the Huffington Post’s Alanna Vagianos: “Not only do these ads completely demean and objectify women, SuitSupply offends men if they really believe an entire gender is actually this narrow-minded when shopping for clothing.While sex may sell, it’s almost impossible to determine what SuitSupply is even attempting to sell here.”
Well, they’re attempting to sell a suit, Alanna. They’re called SuitSupply, for one, and the guy in the suit is the center of the ad. Oh and it says SuitSupply.
Here’s the thing: heterosexual men like naked women. They find them attractive. They pay attention to ads of things they find attractive. Believe it or not, women like attractive men. And gay men like attractive men. And gay women like attractive women. Some folks like attractive men and women. This is a simple fact of life. Why are feminists upset with this? Because sex sells? Yes. It does. You know why? People like sex and sexy things. SuitSupply isn’t sexist for acknowledging this.
This is yet another example of being upset for the sake of being upset. It’s sexist to be attracted to attractive people? Nope.