Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Apparently, You Can Never Be Young Enough

feministing and copyranter have both weighed in on the creepiness factor in this ad.

What I find interesting though, is that this ad is from Tiger Beat. A magazine that (assuming it had the same purpose and demographics in 1972 as it does now) is for

1) teen and pre-teen girls

2) who are "obsessed" with boys.

The model in the ad is not standing in for a grown woman - as a commenter at feministing argues - she is standing in for a teen girl only several years older than herself. I rather suspect the shampoo maker used a sexualized pictures of a very young girl to sell it's product not just because our culture infantilizes women, but also because it half-neuters teen girls - they are sexualized, but god forbid they are sexual or have desires of their own.

So, how does one use sex to sell something to teen girls if one cannot be seen as encouraging sexual behavior in teen girls? Especially, god forbid, by acknowledging that they like to look at men and boys. Even in a magazine that is generally bought for the pull-out posters of the pretty boy of the day. (And, whatever one may think of the idea, using sex to sell products to the readers of Tiger Beat is a perfectly logical route to take.)

Well, one fetishizes "innocence" - ie, virginity.

And ends up with something even creepier than what one was trying to avoid in the first place. And yet somehow more acceptable to society. Which is a whole 'nother level of creepy altogether.

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