By Rob Beschizza at 2:54 pm Thu, Mar 3, 2011
Cool! She looks as if it is not a mannequin! (smile)
This is obviously for the upcoming Hans Bellmer Day Sale. The season is building to a crescendo; on the day itself, Courtney Love will sing one of her standards, “Doll Parts.”
That reminds me, anyone know how I can get blood out of a clown suit?
Assuming the carpet matches the drapes, it is clearly old women parts. No wonder they’re on sale.
The shaggy, shaggy carpet.
My first thought was FORTS! And/or the shoppers climbing into boxes like Maru the cat (the depth doesn’t make sense but that’s part of the fun). Yes objectification exists, but I find it difficult to accuse one ad in isolation. So far this one has multiple interpretations (mine being the cutest).
Lady Gaga ate here?
A Google image search of bcgbmaxazria suggests that their target demographic is Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte wannabes.
As a graphic designer the thing that bothers me most about this photo is that some idiot placed that “A” backwards.
Well, that and the dead hooker.
Dammit, I paid an arm and a leg here just last month.
Dang…I didn’t notice that backwards A at first. Now it’s driving me crazy!
omg… you people take it sooooooo serious… why? need to learn to laugh at life… even god has a sense of humor… don’t believe me look in a mirror :P
The ‘A’ doesn’t appear to be backwards.
And how many dead hookers do you see? Celarly Sheila and Laetitia there!
The ‘A’ doesn’t appear to be backwards.
Trust me, I’ve spent enough time studying typography to have an eye for these things. If the typeface follows any standard conventions at all then the skinny part should be on the left because that’s what you’d see if it were drawn by a right-handed person holding a calligraphy pen at a normal angle.
As for the dead hooker… that’s just my initial reaction after way too many episodes of “Law & Order: SVU.”
It matters if this is a shoe store display. Unsurprisingly, shoes stores often show just-over-the-knee, just-under-the-crotch, and waist-high half-mannequins. This is obviously designed to minimise that which does not advertise their product.
Is this poor taste? Maybe. Is the standard “sexy fishnet thigh-down leg peeking-out” equally bad?
Shoe stores can show shoes on their own, or shoes with attached legs. Neither is ideal.
Ah, yes, more disembodied women parts, followed by dead hooker jokes. Splendid.
Advertising can always use a little more violence against women, I guess.
So that’s where Ke$ha’s sleeping these days!
I don’t see this as some kind of murder tableaux… if that’s what comes to your mind, maybe you should be worried about yourself…
They’re mannequins. To me it says “OMG we have too many mannequins. They keep showing up. What are we going to do? Oh, we’ll have a SALE.” Substitute “sequined tank tops” for mannequins and you know what you’ll actually see inside BCGB/MA.
Also I see a meeting with the window dressers/art director, all of whom want to get the f out of there so they can get to Pinkberry or pick up their drycleaning or go buy dope, so they agree simply on “it’ll be eyecatching, and cheap, and fun. A little weird, it’s gotta be memorable.” And then they’re off.
How’d you know they’re women’s legs? :P
Regardless, violence (even implied) isn’t exactly my first choice for an advertising strategy. I’m glad you think this is all a big joke; women and men are killed and cut up in horrible murders, but hey, good on you! Way to play with the subject. Disembodied and dismembered body parts are funny, amirite? Yay!
I am astonished that nobody realizes it, but that’s a direct copy of Juergen Teller’s add for Marc Jacobs. The original legs belonged to Victoria Beckham. The original is better: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/fashion/10TELLER.html
Imho, “Women parts on sale” is the wittier headline.
Oooooooh, I could use a few parts. What floor are boobs on? ;^)
Disgusting. But why be surprised. Women are objects again.
Well some women, and men, are objects. They’re called mannequins.
Again? Like women as objects went away?
For the answer to whether the A is backwards or not… look at the word “SALE” printed in pink on a couple boxes in the lower right corner of the display.
Lady pieces! How delightful! Finally an excuse to reference:
Come on, guys, I’ve worked window displays and it really is a totally thankless job. Let’s be charitable. It seems like the intention behind this was to depict women who ‘shop until they drop’ and get lost in their stuff in a cartoony fashion. It’s just supposed to be funny, it’s not some dark depiction of a human slave market where women are anesthetized, stuffed into boxes and shipped off to the highest bidder.
oh god my entire life is a lie
I don’t really care about what the window designer was trying to say. To me, this indicates a culture at large that doesn’t give two shits about the fact that women (and men, oh yes) are murdered and cut up on a regular basis, but no worries, we’ll make light of it to sell more shit!
Let me make it clear that in no way does an advertisement or window display bring out a frothing rage in a would-be killer who then goes out and does all kinds of horrible shit. What I’m saying is that when society at large uses violence as a way to sell shit, an advertisement like this contributes to and reflects upon that casual acceptance of violence.
Lorrible, for every single joke that gets made ever, there is at least one person on earth who takes the topic of that joke so seriously they believe anyone else using humor to approach the subject is a reprehensible act.
You present a false dichotomy by portraying a society that can only either care about actual terrible situations and the people that are victims of them *or* use the general topic lightly and with casual acceptance when disassociated with specific identities. Real societies (and people) do both. Laughter does not imply condonation.
Not only that, but this is also funny in that it is in so much poor taste, for exactly the seriousness you mention!
With that out, I’m pretty busy myself these days and could sure use a helping hand.
“To me, this indicates a culture at large that doesn’t give two shits about the fact that women (and men, oh yes) are murdered and cut up on a regular basis, but no worries, we’ll make light of it to sell more shit!”
“To me, this indicates a culture at large that doesn’t give two shits about the fact that women (and men, oh yes) are murdered and cut up on a regular basis”
And which culture would that be?
I can’t think of any where murder and dismemberment happen on a *regular basis*, or is this some new innovative usage of the phrase?
Murder does happen on a regular basis. Here, in America. So, there’s that.
Also, showing dismembered woman parts is just one of the myriad of ways that women are dehumanized and reduced to body parts, and not fully sentient human beings.
One of the first things armies do is ‘other’ their victims, so they don’t feel as bad killing, raping and maiming them.
This is very similar to that.
> Also, showing dismembered woman parts is just one of the myriad of ways that women are dehumanized and reduced to body parts, and not fully sentient human beings.
But, . . . but, . . . but, . . . they’re NOT “woman parts!” They’re mannequin parts!!
Finally someone else is speaking out against the injustice projected onto women by the use of mannequins! Women have lives to live, but our sick society just wants to see them standing motionless in stores displaying clothing. Some of these companies even display mannequins without faces or fingers! How will women be able to raise the generations of tomorrow if they cannot emote, or if they cannot pick up things?
“oh god my entire life is a lie”
mine too, having spent my career selling audiences to advertisers
– that’s why i’m on boing boing; i’m looking for meaning and purpose
(no luck so far)
Cue the Silent Hill 3 music…
All I could think was how is a real woman supposed to walk in those shoes? I have always thought loafers and other flats were sexier and happier looking.
If I’m not careful, you’ll all figure out the origin of my username.
This is just a take on
(scary, but that is exactly what this reminded me of… and, after all of that therapy too …)
Worst. Merkin. Ever.
Yep, Jean Kilbourne is still right.
Jeez, lighten up. This is an amusing, well captioned post. Do you some of you walk around barking “not funny!” all day?
Go watch Jean Kilbourne’s series on advertising, “Killing Us Softly,” and then come back and tell us how ads like this are completely harmless.
Seriously, there is a ton of research about this kind of stuff. It’s not benign; it’s actually quite ugly.
I don’t look at this and see violence. I look at this and think somebody’s been partying too hard or is just really relaxed, and that it’s kind of sexy. And then I see the other pairs of legs and think this is just kind of a stupid display. And then I see the backward A and start twitching.
It’s quite clear in the reflection those are incandescent lightbulbs and as everyone knows BCGBMAXAZARIRI has always been built on Indian burial grounds. The Indians were were cool with reburial but incandescence pissed them off no end, as can be seen from such filmatic achievements as Poltergeist and whatever came after poltergeist. How dare you you. You may as well start chanting “hey how are you?” repeatedly,……scumbags
I dunno. To me, this window is simply saying, “Hey! Everything’s on sale! And, to that end, we are spending so much time getting all of THAT ready for the sale that we didn’t have much time to deal with THIS. Oh, and, since it’s ALL on sale, it’s ALL in THERE. And, therefore, can’t be in HERE.”
Really. That’s all I get out of this. And, I think it’s rather fun!
Wow, NO ONE was saying that seeing this display would cause someone to go out and chop up women. That’s a ridiculous straw man. What has been said is that disembodied representations of female body parts strewn about is obviously objectifying and creepy. You’re just so used to this kind of objectification that it doesn’t register as wrong or even that strange.
I wonder if somebody, during Halloween pre-shopping, moved a string of replacement razor blades next to the apples… The “Don’t forget to stock up for trick or theaters” would seem SO ominous…
However, how skittish/paranoid they are in this country that used to be America, when the anti-shoplifter/employee theft tape was rewound the person playing the joke would probably be treated on TV and in court like someone actually trying to DO such an urban legend…
On, the other hand, if you did some inside work (any hackers here) and in these giant mega-chain supermarkets gave them orders in the form of modified store display plans to set up such a ghastly display of questionable taste they’d do it and then the corporate lawyer would be threatening the police/media (less advertising, less bribe money) to sh-t the F*ck up about it and denying it was a “Hacker Prank” because they’d be “Admitting fault”…
This is kind of what I imagined when prostitution was described to me as a child. This and wooden buckets full of toes.
I know it says SALE and all, but most of the time department store women’s parts are so overpriced to begin with the sale isn’t worth it. And don’t get me started on the quality – I first noticed it going downhill when May bought Marshall Fields. Look, there are two ways you can go… If quality’s the thing, just order from one of the more upscale catalogs – be warned, you’ll probably want to learn Swedish to be able to select the really good stuff. If you’re just looking for the best price, you can find a local distributor and buy direct. Just get there before lorrible_frog. Her massive sense of righteous indignation will take up all the good parking spots.
The French word “sale” means “dirty”…
Questions to those who say “it’s just _____” and has nothing to do with women:
What is being advertised here?
How can you tell?
Why would this convince a target customer to come into the store?
Could you imagine this same window treatment for men’s clothing?
A clothing/shoe sale in the store. Up to 60% off.
Giant letters spelling out “SALE”. The presence of mannequin legs indicates to me that the store probably sells clothing. Since the legs are displaying shoes, I assume they sell shoes.
They could get up to 60% off on sale items.
Yes, I could. You are implying that this advertisement somehow is objectifying women, and that men are never the target of objectification in ads.
It’s a mannequin, not a woman. It’s not made of flesh, it doesn’t have feelings, it isn’t alive, it IS NOT A PERSON. If someone thinks “oh look, mannequin legs, I’m going to go cut off a woman’s legs because a window display told me to”, then they’re COMPLETELY INSANE. Stop reading into it so much.
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