A tale as old as time; advertising objectifying and sexualising women. And New Zealand jewellery brand I Love Ugly has shown us the patriarchy is still alive and well.
The ads show fully-clothed men modelling their bejewelled hands all over a naked woman’s body.
The ads, originally posted by fashion and art website HighSnobiety, are not featured on I Love Ugly’s website, but don’t worry, the critics have found them. And those damning comments are in no short supply.
But despite the outrage, the label took to Twitter to explain it’s thought process:
“Mixed reviews about our latest ring campaign. Some love it, some hate it. If you’re nervous about something, you’re onto something good.”
That tweet and all campaign imagery have since been deleted.
But as one person wrote in response: “If you’re nervous about something, it’s probably because you know it’s grossly offensive”.
Unfortunately, the brand didn’t stop there, but in fact stooped to an even stupider level.Yep, they went ahead and re-released the campaign but in reverse, with women wearing the jewellery and showcasing it on non-sexualised parts of a naked male body.
Commenters caught on though, with one saying: “Covering a non-eroticised part of the male body … A further demonstration of how the brand has no understanding of the power imbalance ingrained in society.”
“You really don’t get it, do you,” wrote another Facebook user, while a further critic said, “Exoticism doesn’t do much to cover up misogyny.”
And while there have been supporters of the brand throughout it all, with comments like “Great campaign, don’t worry about this feminazi”, most people now know the brand as the guys who just keep getting it wrong.