Month: July 2014

Stop Discriminating against Beautiful Blonde Women – Possibly the Best & most ridiculous rebut EVER!

It’s not everyday a “Beautiful Blonde woman” becomes a victim of discrimination. I say victim lightheartedly, because in truth she probably doesn’t really feel victimised at all.  Every second advertisement today is in some way either ‘sexist’, ‘stereotypical’, ‘inappropriate’ or has the audacity to offend some over-sensitive-prude with too much time on their hands.

St George Scrap Metal Yard has caused the most recent stir with their Advertisement of a Blonde lady in a bikini, kneeling on a beach (as shown below).


https://i1.wp.com/cdn0.mumbrella.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/St-George-Metal-Recovery-468x460.png


For those of you who tilted your head slightly at the sight of the print, the billboard’s slogan reads – “St George Metal Recovery. They are definitely not the largest. But I wouldn’t sell my stuff to anyone else”.

So I’ll give you the basic guts of the controversy first. As expected, somebody who had seen the billboard complained to the ASB (Advertising Standards Board), claiming the billboard was distasteful and offensive obviously to women.Specifically, as sourced from mUmBRELLA, the complaint stated – “I am offended by this advertisement because it is sexist to include a scantily-clad woman on a billboard advertising a service which has no relation whatsoever to the image used”

along with that complaint, the individual also added in the old argument of the image being “heavily Photo shopped” and emphasizing the fact that again, the image has no relevance to metal or the company, deeming the ad as “sexist”, “predatory” and “offensive”.

The first thing I want you to acknowledge is that scrap metal has nothing to do with a woman in a bikini on a beach? But advertisements as of recent aren’t as blunt and straight to the point as they traditionally were. A woman in a bikini on a billboard will get just about anybody’s attention whether it’s for the wrong or right reason, in fact this attention has probably given the company the one thing it truly wanted – more exposure – and what’s the classic saying… there’s no such thing as bad publicity?

While my inner-feminist wants to be appalled and shocked, I couldn’t shake the feeling of déjà Vu, and the realisation that I, like a lot of people, have become completely de-sensitised to advertisements like this. An objectified woman no longer shocks me; it’s kind of become the norm really? Which means I should argue that it doesn’t make it any less appalling, but for me the shock factors gone.

But  this is where the companies rebut comes into play. In response to complaints against the billboard, the St George Scrap metal Yard defended their ad saying the actual complaint could be viewed as discrimination – the discrimination obviously being against “blonde beautiful women in general” of course, as the complaint clearly suggests she is a “sexual object” (according to the company) – PLOT TWIST, didn’t see that coming.

It gets better; apparently suggesting the photo was “Photo shopped” also discriminates against “any beautiful woman who has ever had a half decent photo taken of them”. Also the scrap yard is less than 1 km from the beach, and I guess blonde woman wearing bikini’s on the beach is the norm right? So I guess there is at least geographical accuracy to the ad!

But that’s about as convincing as their argument gets, they probably should have bit their tongues past that point. In response to the “slogan” on the billboard which could clearly be interpreted as foul and inappropriate, referring to the woman’s bust and implying she sells herself could easily be the interpretation made – unless you were born on another planet.

So if I  post half naked photo’s of myself and receive criticism, I’m being discriminated against right? Even though it’s not really socially acceptable?

What about men?  men can be objectified and sensualised for the purpose of advertising too … So where do we draw the line of double standards?



Like as if you can look past those abs, who cares what his selling, you’ll have 12! “Attractive” Men are being used more and more throughout advertising, although It just doesn’t seem as shocking.

But more seriously and back on topic (on the topic of the Blonde lady on the billboard that is), this to me just looks like a failed attempt at male humor. Men know no boundaries and are forever overstepping the boundaries. It’s kind of like when your boyfriend and his mates crack dirty jokes about stupid things – you think it’s vile and immature, but you laugh it off because it doesn’t really affect you – well for me it was like that. Kind of distasteful, but I could appreciate the humor in what they were trying to do as well as the nature of advertisements.

As for the Photoshop argument – we know we’re not all Megan Fox; Megan Fox probably doesn’t even look like Megan Fox once she’s stripped bare! Advertisements are designed to be idealistic. We’re all completely aware by now of the touch ups involved in photo editing, majority of us edit our own photos – not that I’m applauding companies who do this – tutt tutt!

Then there’s the point of view of “liberation”, considering some women can’t leave the house exposing even their knees – I experienced this all through high school, it was very repressing. So, Good for you blonde girl, you rock that Bikini sweetie – Societies contradictions are endless.

There are things which cause much greater offense then this, and generally most women seem to have a pretty good sense of humor nowadays towards things – although I wouldn’t mind seeing a dad scrubbing the shower floor on the next Ajax ad! Get with the times people – I find the assumption made by advertising companies that all women are  “house wife’s”, to be more offensive then any blonde in a bikini!

HOWEVER, the negative side effects of women in advertising are explored in this short snippet from the documentary – Killing us softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women by Jean Kibourne. Which does raise some truths and concerns…



 

I guess also, if nobody did complain, and companies weren’t slapped on the wrist for this kind of advertising, nothing would be off limits, and I guess that could get ugly. But have we gone from being the target market, to being the product marketed?

So do you put it down to terrible man humor OR discrimination against women? Is it a ridiculous argument, or an outdated one? Let me know your thoughts?

 

 

 

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Hell F*ck Yeah! Northeast Party House cover ‘Covered in Chrome’ by Violent Soho

There are many reasons as to why Friday is a great day, but my favourite thing about Friday is tuning into triple J for ‘Like a Version’. I’m typically old fashioned, as in, who ever did it first did it better – But my love of covers for a while now has been kindled – thanks to Triple J.

Most are probably familiar with Triple J’s ‘like a version’, as it’s responsible for the some of the best covers out. Those who aren’t, have probably still unwittingly heard covers from the program and been left mindlessly humming along to them in the car.

‘Like a version’ is a Triple J radio segment which happens every Friday morning in which Australian artists & International artists play live acoustic covers of a song of their choice. It’s featured some of the most well known artists as of recent such as Arctic Monkeys, Missy Higgins, Boy & Bear, and much, much more!

Today for Like a Version, Northeast Party House covered Violent Soho’s hit ‘Covered in Chrome’

Today’s cover was nothing short of amazing! Having not heard much of Northeast Party house, I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially considering I’m a Soho fan – I couldn’t imagine ‘Covered in Chrome’ ever being produced any other way then it’s original form.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned ‘covered in Chrome’ as a dance track… but I’m no visionary and here it is… wallaaaah!



Even if your a die-hard Violent Soho fan, I bet that groovy ‘Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! — Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! — Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! …’ still had you bopping!

But, does it top the original ?



Just from skimming over a few comments, most people felt that the Northeast Party house cover sucked all the ‘raw emotion’ out of the song, that was intended with the original. But I’d agree with the people who suggested that was intentional. The point of a cover is to have another take on something, and to push the boundaries, and for me this was achieved.

It’s a completely different take on a great alternative rock song.This track was produced as a feel good cover, with a different intent to that of Violent Soho.

When I heard Northeast Party houses cover, the feel of the song all together was completely different to what I felt, being slammed around in a mosh, listening to Violent Soho play at Oxford Art Factory earlier this year – the fact that I could feel completely different emotions for the same song, to me, means the artist has done something right through originality.

But, love it or hate it, rate it? What version will you be blaring in your car? Raw grunge alternative rock OR electro-feel-good dance vibes?

Northeast Party house clearly weren’t trying to appease Violent Soho fans, and I think they did a hell of a job with the cover! I’m converted to a Northeast Party house fan as of now. You can check out and support both Violent Soho & Northeast Party House by checking out there tasty jams and following them on Facebook.

How to tell you’re in denial about turning TWENTY!

Having recently turned 20, I’m having what I could only describe as a ‘quarter life crisis’.



Turning 20 to me was like doomsday, the end of my youth as I know it and a reminder that I am completely unaccomplished for my age. Most of my friends and peers I consulted were completely blase’ about the whole ‘post traumatic 20th birthday’ stress, I seemed to have developed. To them it was just another birthday, another year past, or being in their early twenties, told me to shut up and stop being so bloody melodramatic!

It shouldn’t matter because nothing really changes right? It’s not like I woke up on my birthday with a head of grey hair, or face full of wrinkles! Physically I am the exact same person, just distraught at the thought of the treacherous 20!

 



 So I’ve come to the conclusion I’m in denial about my age….So far, to the best of my knowledge, these are the most obvious signs you are in denial about turning/being 20 (based on observation & personal experience):

1. You offer to show the people at the Bottle-O or clubs your ID

2. You’re still on your parents medicare card & force your mum to accompany you to the doctors

3. You ask people who don’t know you to guess how old you are (hoping they’ll say you look younger!)

4. You abuse your younger friends when they remind you of your age.

5. You cringe at the number 20 and swear it’s a bad omen.

6. You still have no idea what you want to do as a career, but you continue to study like you have all the time in the world to figure it out.

8. You’ve created a bucket-list full of things you wanted to accomplish when you were like 17 or of unrealistic novelties – such as form a band like you said you were going to in high school  or meet Vance Joy and convince him to marry you.

9. You get cut when your parents tell you to ‘get your own dinner’ or ‘pay for your own shit’

10. You still take kids panadol, because capsules are to hard to swallow.

11. When people ask your age you tell them your 19, forgetting your actual age.

12. You talk about things that happened 3 years ago like they only happened yesterday.

13. You still think your going to grow up to be the next Marina (out of Marina and the Diamonds)

14. When you ask your parents for a lift at 2am and expect them to be thrilled to see you/hear from you.

15. When you still think it’s acceptable to order a happy meal and ask for the toy

16. When you refuse to catch public transport on your own because it’s ‘dangerous’, or do anything on your own.

17. When you categorise people in their twenties as ‘lame’ or a ‘bad time’, forgetting you, yourself are 20 +


 

Unfortunately for us there is no antidote for aging, only anti-aging face creams and plastic surgeons. Although it seems as though our youth is slowly dwindling away, we must embrace our 20’s with open arms;  although leaving the comfort of our teens is scary, I’m sure the 20’s can’t be that daunting? Can they?