Friday, March 15, 2013

ads: the new accessory?

You've heard it many times before- ads are everywhere.  And now, they're becoming increasingly common on women in Japan.  Yes, on actual people.  In Japan, women like to accentuate their legs, particularly the  upper thigh between their high socks and hemline of their miniskirts known as the "zettai ryouiki" or "absolute territory."  This part of the body is somewhat of an obsession in their culture, complete with a Facebook page to prove it.  Ummm what?  Anyway, this worshiped part of the leg is being rented out to advertisers, where women wear temporary tattoos to promote the company.  



This advertising fad became popular in 2005, after a mother from Utah decided to auction off her forehead on eBay to advertisers for $10,000.  In return, she had to tattoo the highest bidder's advertisement on her forehead.  Aka it's permanent.  Aka for it's the rest of her life.  Her forehead now reads "GoldenPalace.com" which is an online casino.  I mean, that wouldn't be my first choice for something written on my forehead (I'd probably aim for "free hugs," my phone number, or "superstar"...haa kidding), but hey it was for a good cause.  She raised the money in order to send her son to a private school, which she felt was necessary for him after deaths in their family and a divorce.  


In Japan, women eighteen or older, are being paid to wear temporary tattoos with a logo on their upper thighs for at least eight hours per day.  The only stipulation is that they have to have to be connected to at least twenty people on social networks, and they must post pictures of themselves wearing the advertisement.  Each day, they can choose which logo to wear, as long as it's visible.  

Part of me wants to commend these people for their creativeness.  Why not flaunt what you've got?  It is an innovative way to market companies, right?  Is it any different than wearing a shirt that has a company name on it?  But how far is too far?  To me, it almost implies that they are selling their bodies to the advertisers. And it's interesting to point out that it's only women, reinforcing the fact that sex sells.  There's not an option for men at this point.  Do you think that would make it more justifiable if men were involved?  It's interesting to think about if there would be backlash for essentially objectifying men in the same way women are in this case.  Because they are renting out parts of their body to these advertisers, women are portrayed as a commodity.  Although it may seem like an easy, creative way to make money and bring attention to certain companies, the underlying message it portrays isn't all that positive.  So what do you think about it? Can you see this becoming more popular with other countries?  I can't help to wonder myself if I would rent out my body for money from advertisers.  

Alright, that's enough thinking for the week.  My head hurts.  

If you want more information check out these websites! 
1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
2. http://www.deseretnews.com/
3. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/




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