Or does it
Warning: R rated. Some language and sexual references may offend.
Don’t complain to me if you don’t like the language, you’ve been warned….
I was driving to an appointment the other day on a busy highway, the QEW. The QEW runs from Niagara Falls border of the USA and Canada, to the heart of Ontario, Toronto. I notice a sign that says ‘Our Homes Are Pretty Sexy, Too”. The WTF light bulb was flashing as I was looking for the next exit. In my head, like usual, a bomb has gone off. I drove off the next exit and drove to the sign and took a picture, I have to send this to my friend, we’ll rant for hours later. Luckily for the builder, there wasn’t an immediate number on their roadside sex billboard or they would of gotten a phone call on the spot. Not that he would of cared, but I would of felt better.
The whole way to my appointment I was ranting in my head about how offensive this sign is to my sensibilities as a parent, as a neighbour and as an intelligent professional business woman. But, I ask myself, is it offensive to others? I always try and follow some logic and I know that just because I’m offended doesn’t mean I’m right. I’d like to note the grammar has annoyed me greatly in that statement. Why the comma after sexy? Not that I have perfect grammar but I’m not on a billboard at the side of the business highway promoting sexy houses.
Of course when I was at home later I showed Einstein. He chuckled and I caught a small roll of his eyes. He knew where this was going. In a deep dark zone where he won’t be allowed out until I say so.
In my best, I’m shocked tone, I said to him ‘can you believe this?’
He said ‘you can’t be shocked. I won’t allow it.’
Hmmmm I thought. That’s an unusual response from him. ‘Go on’ I said.
He continued with ‘sex apparently sells anything. Sexual innuendos are everywhere. You can pretend to be shocked but maybe you should be disgruntled or angry instead.’
‘Good point’ I said. ‘Seriously though, the side of the QEW and we need sex to sell houses now?’
In his usual calm and easiness, he responds with ‘Let’s face it, if she had a dick in her mouth the men would be grabbing their wives and the lineup would be down the road’
‘Really Einstein, this is where we are going to go with this?’ I respond with a small chuckle. He’s getting cheeky in his old age and I might like the competition.
He said ‘I don’t make the rules, I just sit back and observe them. Let’s look at fifty shades of grey. Every horny house wife in North America read her little books full of porn and are now watching it at the theatres on the large screen and you think anyone is going to notice that sign and read into like you are?’
Hmmm. My wheels are turning. Maybe I’m the only one that this has offended. Maybe I just look for things to piss me off. Ok, so do I need to rethink my position here? After all, I read Fifty Shades of Grey. Am I any better than the signs creator?
I have rethought many times and even drove past the sign again a few times. I’m still where I was in the beginning; It simply inappropriate by my standards.
So let’s discuss why this is so wrong and yet so smart. Let’s get the most frustrating over with first; Why they are smart in their advertising.
Obviously sex sells. It is proven. That’s why it’s smart. If sex didn’t sell, why would anyone waste their time and it wouldn’t be money well spent. Sex sells. Starting at the sex trade industry all the way to selling houses, apparently. In general, we are a society that is sold on appearances and sexual images. It’s just where we seem to have ended up. For now. I do think there is a small shift in motion against this advertising as we are slowly recognizing the implications. It’s in TV shows, commercials, movies, and basically most advertising has dipped into sex in some form at some time on some level. This, of course, does not include every company/person, I know this, but I believe I do speak of a large majority in today’s world.
For instance, video games that are marketed to our kids and youth have women characters dressed in sexy provocative clothing with their waists ridiculously small, butts bubbly, perfectly trimmed thighs and big boobs budging out of their skimpy tops. Necessary? I personally find that image so far fetched it’s embarrassing for it to be associated with females. But that’s me…Wound a little tight sometimes.
Have you seen Barbies clothes? I wouldn’t want my child dressed in any of Barbies wardrobe. My daughter did play with Barbie. Excuse me while I pat my back with that wonderful parental choice. (Dripping with Sarcasm). Thankfully the desire for lack of clothing was not an issue ever. Phew. It’s all in the parenting and the role modelling we as parents do.
We have clothing, shoe and accessory manufacturers that will show a make believe couple in a poster or commercial, in a sexual pose, could be nose to nose or cheek to cheek while wearing their items that are for sale. They aren’t nose to nose to smell each other’s breath, it’s the anticipation of the kiss that never happens, but our minds have already envisioned it. The brand has implied a sexual state. So if I wear those items/brand I will find my handsome Prince Charming and be forever sexy Sandy while wearing them? Is that the message that is suppose to entice me to purchase? I wear clothes (thank me later) and I also wear most of the brands that promote items with some form of sex at some point. But trust me, it isn’t because I intend to look sexy or acknowledge the brand has a sexual influence on who I am. I make my choices aware of the marketing behind it. I know by me buying I support the marketing behind it. I’m aware. And I struggle with my own boundaries etc., often. But my community has asked me to remain clothed. What are my options?
Billboards with underwear models. Male and female. I get underwear is well, underwear, and to see it must be, well, worn as underwear, but do we really need to be convinced to buy underwear? I’ll admit I’ve visually enjoyed a male underwear billboard. Thank you Beckham. I’m a hypocrite. I know I know.
Sexy voluptuous lips sell a certain brand of lipstick. Duck season. That’s all I’m saying with this one.
Perfumes that compete for the sexist scent can imply you’re irresistible and will get your funk only if you smell that good.
A store called ‘Pink’ that I recently noticed, has very skimpy clothing that has sizes very small, able to dress children in their elementary school years. Let’s start ’em young? The conditioning. The brand Pink is also synonymous to sexy advertising, so if you’re wearing a ‘pink’ brand item what does it mean? You’re sexy? The posters on their store windows are offensive to me. I’ve actually told them they are shameful for using such young girls in their posters but ranting to the young under dressed sales girls is only letting everyone in on my secret; I’m crazy. However, not all Pinks clothing is short coming with coverage, but the branding on their products is enormous in view. So what message is to be relayed if you’re wearing a pair of sweats from the Pink brand with Pink in huge letters written across the butt. Is it just any other brand, let’s say like Roots, or can the clothing you are wearing associated with the marketing behind it? I would think it is evaluated on individual cases, but if we are attempting to make our children ‘sexy’ we are drastically, morally deficient as a society.
Side note: did you know if you accidentally hit the key beside P for Pink you get Oink?
Of course this is just a few examples … People can add thousands of other examples but I don’t think I need to here. Hopefully my point is being understood.
But just in case I need to drive home the sex selling, let me rant about one more thing. I most recently was at a car show in Toronto. They had female models for the vehicles on display (the vehicles not accessible to the public for up close viewing), and only female models I’d like to point out, that were dressed to appeal to men’s sex appeal. You can’t tell me I’m wrong on this. Why else are the only female models in short skirts, excessive make up and hair spray, skimpy tops and excessively high heels for 12 hours a day. I can and will assume they are selling the sex appeal because as you looked at the female sales reps (very few unfortunately) they are in business suits, nothing bulging out of anywhere and are dressed in classy attire. They are dressed for a different purpose; for respect. Respect of the knowledge they have for the vehicles in a mans industry. So the message sent to me is, if you want a knowledgable sales rep who happens to be female and can trust/respect what comes out of their mouth, she needs to be dressed business appropriate and with classy attire, not the imagery of the models present. Even that is horrible wrong. The models are likely just as smart and intelligent and most definitely, someone’s daughter. Why do clothes present 2 different levels of respect and perception. Ugh. That’s a whole other blog write. Anyways, back on track. If you want to gawk and fantasize about some hot chick in your new sport vehicle beside you, it’s the sexy scantily clad models, not the sales rep in her business suit. What if I want to buy that sports car? Where’s my sexy male model with sock in his jock position perfectly? Pfffft. Please. It’s insulting for the car industry to think it only needs to appeal to the male consumers. I drive and every female I know under the age of 70 drives. Maybe the car industry already knows women don’t need dick appeal to be capable of making a decision.
Back to the billboard in question. Does society demand or require sex to motivate us to buy a house? Is it appropriate for a home builder to associated his/her price tag with sex? Here you go consumers, you get to over pay for this home brand because it is sexy. Logical? NO. Absolutely not. Does this mean if we buy this house, will have a better sex life because my house will be built more sexy? WTF. Do you know how stupid it is to even have to write that last sentence? How does one build a sexy house anyways? Tow hooks above the headboard in the master bedroom to hook up the confined partner? An in-wall safe to lock up all your fifty shades of grey tools? Or a sound proof room with steel doors etc., for your Christian Grey and Anastasia encounters? Exactly how do you build a sexier house than the next home builder? I think I should visit a model home and torment that sales reps. I’m good that way.
Other builders advertisings have families in beautifully landscaped parks, watching a movie in their professionally decorated family rooms…a glorious perfect family image with no dysfunction (haha), washing their cars in their driveways, unloading groceries etc., doing practical family things for their advertising and literature. Dicenzo Homes has chosen to sell sex instead of the luxury home with a perfect family portrait or a preferable living community. Choose us and pay $600,000 + for your very own sexy house. I wonder if that sign has deterred anyone else who potentially would of like to live in that area. I wish there was a way I could find out.
.I absolutely can’t wait to check out the neighbourhood when the development is done. I’ll be sitting there like the stalker I can be, with my latte checking it all out. Probably from the curb side as it doesn’t look like parks are appropriate for sex fiestas. I’m also pretty confident there won’t be any feminists and/or their families living in that development.