Friday, March 2

dear swedish hasbeens,

sorry to be a downer, especially since i do like the design of these shoes and swedish hasbeens seem like a decent company (the shoes are manufactured by hand in small factories in sweden and they say they practice environmental friendliness), but these particular shots from their spring lookbook are objectifying and gross. 

the decision to hide the models' faces while displaying their oiled up and smoothly photoshopped bodies takes away what makes them human and leaves them as sexualized dismembered body parts.

are they selling shoes or ass?

maybe i am overreacting. 
sure, loads of advertisers use similar tactics and i'm not usually one to be offended by fashion ads. i'm no prude, and women's bodies in all states of undress can be wonderful. i guess my gut reaction is a result of feeling that swedish hasbeens are trying to appeal to my very own personal demographic specifically, what with the whole retro 40's pinup styling, and to think that they can sell vintage inspired sexism along with their vintage inspired products makes me want to speak up and say no thanks.

does anyone else have feelings about this?

20 comments:

  1. What a thoughtful and insightful post. As you noted earlier in our gchat conversation, the emphasis is barely on the shoes, particularly in the first picture, which really begs the question as to what they are selling. More over it kind of bothers me that in the 2nd and 3rd pictures the women's bodies are being evaluated and corrected by a man. Yuck.

    I've waited all winter to bust out my navy blue hasbeens but now, even as spring approaches, I feel a tad conflicted. I hope that this campaign is an mistake on the part of the advertisers and not reflective of the company's attitudes towards...well...us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. yeah, this is pretty disgusting.

    definitely looking for other clog options!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i felt the same way, particularly about the second picture.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's so interesting because I didn't see it that way at all. Now with your words, I definitely see what you're saying, but my initial intepretation was different. Maybe it's because I saw the lookbook as a whole and a number of shots feature the models faces. Your post is making me think about it though...

    ReplyDelete
  5. honestly, I posted that top image (with the bowling balls) on my tumblr but hadn't seen the rest of the images. I have to say, now that I've seen the others, I really do agree with you. very disappointing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I completely agree. When I saw these floating around other popular blogs I thought- really? Especially for a company who are so intertwined with the blogosphere, I think this misses the mark and is borderline offensive. I don't wanna sound like a ~hairy-legged feminist~ (although I am, by all accounts, one of those) but the shot of the man measuring the women's prone holds sits especially uncomfortably with me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hairless and hairy legged feminist fist bump!

      Delete
  7. Yikes! I went back to look at the entire lookbook and there is a male lurking in the background of almost all (if not all) of the pictures! Marketing fail for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'd only seen that first one, which was reblogged on tumblr as "inspiration." I was repulsed by the sexism but just ignored it- way to go for speaking up about, def not acceptable to me and dissapointing from Swedish hasbeens.
    http://dusanabotswana.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. To me the general concept, or maybe the meaning you gave to it is just not in harmony with the product they are advertising.(Or more like with the lifestyle and taste I would associate with it.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm not sure if you have seen their previous add campaigns (s/s2010) but these comparitivley speaking are pretty tame. On a standalone basis though I don't know if I would say that with the exception of a few images that this advert is "too" sexy. But I will say that I sure do dig the gym setting and that the women are, as some might say, empowering themselves, and getting physically fit. Even if it is prett far fetched to do so in a pair of $500 shoes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for suggesting i look at their previous campaigns, you are totally right, s/s2010 gives me similar feelings.

      Delete
  12. very well put and good on you for saying so. love swedish hasbeens, hate this lookbook.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Definitely agree. I had never heard of Swedish Hasbeens, so when you said they were advertising shoes in those photos, I laughed right out loud.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love this look book. I wasn't going to post anything because I didn't want to seem argumentative, but I think it's kitschy and cute. I find nothing overtly sexual about these images at all- or chauvinistic. I agree with Courtney Brooke! Love the gym setting and the lighting is unbelievable! It gives the girls a synchronized swimmers feel that I love!

    I also won't lie, I love a little sex now and then ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Girl I am totally with you! It sucks that a company that has come out with such original, fun and NOT-OBJECTIFYING images in the past has chosen to down-grade themselves like this (and DE-grade women in the process). Way to critique it and not just let it slide! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.swedishhasbeens.com/images/inspiration/spring10_2s.jpg This was from 2 years ago. They've been using "objectifying" images for awhile.

      Delete
  16. I agree in that the models have been made into objects to admire, but it's not just the women - the man's face is also barely seen in your pictures, objectifying him too imo. I guess their reasoning would be "it's all about the shoes and faces distract" etc. etc. but ultimately they have gone too vintage! xo

    ReplyDelete