In relation to my PETA post in the Veggie Slaughterer, I thought I would talk about my thoughts on the nude PETA adds. If you have never seen, or heard of, these ads show a nude person, with strategically placed obstructions. There are both men and women in the adds, but I have seen mostly women. To be fair, this may have more to do with the gender that usually volunteers.
Some may argue that these ads are sexist. My understanding, though, is that these women and men volunteer for these ads. These are not young men and women at the beginnings of their career in need of money. These are well-established actors, actresses, musicians and the like. They are fully aware of what these shots will look like and what their purpose is. I cannot imagine them being a surprise.
The only problem is the poses the individuals take. I have provided an example of a man’s ad (these are kind of hard to find) and a woman’s ad. The men are standing full on to the camera and looking at the camera like it is at eye level. The women are often sitting, but ALWAYS in a seductive pose. This is of course more of an example of how our society differs in its perception of sexy men and sexy women. This is certainly not PETA being sexist, so I am not going to go into this anymore here. This is about PETA’s ads and not the differences between gender’s stereotypical sexuality.
The big questions here, for me at least, is about using sex to get a point across. The clearest reason for the nudity is to grab a person’s attention. People like to look at attractive people, especially covered by as little as possible. This certainly works and people pay attention. They may even read what the sign says, though I doubt they always do. My first question is, does the person being nude actually help?
On the side of ‘no’, I would argue that the sex does not add anything. It may grab a person’s attention, but would it grab it any less if it was a clothed sexy celebrity not posing alluringly. These ads do nothing to explain why fur and the meat industry are cruel. In fact, they may give the opposition a reason to question the argument. Why can’t PETA sell the idea on its own?
On the side of ‘yes’, the sex is a greaaaaaat attention grabber. They may not show why fur is bad but they may inspire a lot of people to look into it. That is the point of a lot of ads anyway, right? Just to get into your head so that eventually you will think to investigate. Also, our culture loves celebrities. People like to be like celebrities, so if someone you respect says “Fur is murder” you will go along with them.
Honestly, I like the ads. Partly, because I like looking at scantily clad people. I wish there was a way for the ads to break out of the modern advertisement swing of women in passive seductive positions. The fact is that fur is not retrieved in an animal friendly way and rarely from animals you can even pretend were also becoming food. Have any of you eaten mink? Anyway, I want to know what you guys think about these ads. This was just a quickly done opinion bit, so I’d love to throw back and forth some ideas!