Could be dangereuse

In what at first seems to be a take-off on the Lane Bryant TV ad (featuring the luscious Ashley Graham), online lingerie seller Liaison Dangereuse posted this interesting ad for their own line of scanty underthings:

If you managed to watch this all the way to the end, you’re probably wondering how anybody reconciles the concept of women being compelled to wear the body-encompassing burqas in order that they do not arouse nearby men, with the concept that they enjoy dressing in what Western culture considers to be sexy and alluring.

As a story, this commercial fails in giving us any details to help us resolve such a paradox.  As marketing, I can’t figure out who their target demographic might be.

Coming on the heels of the Lane Bryant commercial, though, it’s fascinating to see the point/counterpoint tones. While both initially have women dressing for what appears to be a date, Ashley Graham is obviously in charge of the situation, and plans the encounter on her own terms. Miriam Wimmer, the model in the LD ad, while seeming to be doing so, stops well short of showing us (and by extension, the women the ad is targeting) that her position is essentially passive; instead of boldly walking out the door, she has to cover up and remain passive.

Is this a cultural perspective? Or is it simply just an ad? It would be easy to write it off as just an ad if it weren’t for LD’s own tag line: “Sexiness for everyone. Everywhere.” Maybe I’m just misreading this, but how can you be “sexy” when you’re not in control of your own body, or whether you can even appear in public unescorted?

On the other hand, does it perhaps show that despite living in a culture in which one does not have the freedoms that we in the West take for granted, women can take charge in some small but significant ways?

I’m intrigued, but not convinced. But visually, I did enjoy the scene.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in Appearance, Body Image, Eye Candy, Fashion. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Could be dangereuse

  1. arafinte says:

    A few years ago it became very “in” for women to wear oversize Christian icons including the face of Christ on dresses. I think this ad attempts the same sort of thing. It wants to shock a bit, make the potential buyer think that it is cool to be rebellious. That’s what the woman in the ad is doing, being rebellious, and advertisers have long known that it pays to make the customer feel like a rebel. As most ads do, this one appeals to the emotions, not sensibility. And I’ll bet dinars to doughnuts that few woman in Burquaville ever get to see this commercial. Still makes me wonder what’s really going on under those things though. 😉

    Arafin

  2. I was under the impression that the model was just about to walk out the door, since as I understand it that mode of dress is unusual within the home.

    I’d like to point out that more cultures than “Western” ones find such things sexy and alluring. If Middle Eastern cultures found such things unsexy and unalluring, the burqa would hardly be necessary.

    I was also interested to note your automatic association that burqa covering = passive. Why would putting on a burqa automatically convey passivity to you? Women are legally required to wear one in some countries, do you regard every woman who complies with that law as passive?

    Whatever my own personal cultural bias may be, the message I got from that ad was that no matter what a woman is wearing on the outside, she is sexy underneath. 🙂

  3. Oh, also, in countries which do not require it, some women wear the burqa because they choose to. Do you regard that choice as an indication of passivity?

  4. Thousands of years of patriarchial brainwashing have convinced women to be ashamed of our bodies. Those that are not doing so by law, that still do so, are still under the mind/guilt/societal pressures and customs to wear them. Left to our own devices, (and if the temperature agrees) most people would go naked. Passive? Yes. 🙂

  5. Jz says:

    Well, that was just kind of a big “fail” as far as I was concerned.
    Artfully filmed, pretty lingerie, and attractive woman but I thought it totally lacked the sensuality of the Lane Bryant ad.
    That is, of course, only one woman’s opinion…

  6. Tom Allen says:

    And this just in…

    Indonesia’s Aceh province has banned Muslim women from wearing pants or skirts they deem too tight. Shops have also been banned from selling tight pants or skirts, which officials say are un-Islamic. Women caught with clothes police believe violate the law will have their pants or skirts seized and be given more modest skirts. Those caught violating the law three times face two weeks of detention.

  7. wendy wicke says:

    The ad doesn’t work for me because I find the entire subject of burkas and the cultural memes behind them unpleasant, and my assumption (could be bad on my part) is that the people who made the ad are basically talking out of their asses.

    The memes behind the burka are that women’s sexuality is a tool of the devil, and that men can’t be expected to resist urges. It’s – to be blunt – juvenal. It’s the Lord of the Flies, rules made up by 13-year old boys who have no idea how to deal with all the new testosterone and no adult supervision to guide them.

    That’s my personal reaction to the concept. Maybe you can tell it’s a strong one. I sometimes feel bad that I feel that way, because I don’t want to be a “Cultural Imperialist” but honestly, I think it’s a broken system. Broken for women yes, but for the men too. How depresing to live your entire life in the muddled confusion of puberty.

    Yes, I’m being judgemental. No, it’s probably not fair. Burkas piss me off.

    And it’s not like I’m happy that tweens are running around in microskirts and bellyshirts either. What is wrong with us? Can we maybe have kids rules for the kids and adult rules for the adults?

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