Deconstruction Of The Image


This may be a campaign about HIV/AIDS awareness, but that’s no excuse. This is blatant misogyny, really sinister stuff that conveys a much more profound message about the female body.

Take another look at it. She’s got a killer smile, but still, you can’t see her eyes. The model is cropped so that she’s essentially headless. What makes her human is gone. What makes her a woman is on display. That’s a very deliberate creative choice.

She is an object to be fucked without a brain or an identity. Worse still, her vagina is a fully indexed destination on a Google map. The visual metaphor is so potent (and porn is so ubiquitous) that this image is more jarring than one in which she shows us her actual pussy.

It’s not about the fact that she’s had sex with Bill Johnson and 19 others. Who gives a fuck? What’s toxic is the idea that they checked into her vagina on Foursquare. What it’s saying is that her private parts aren’t private at all. They’re public. That’s the implicit message in this image, and it’s degrading.

It’s not slut-shaming so much as it’s female-shaming, and it reinforces the age-old cultural narrative that women’s bodies aren’t their own.

(Now, having said all that, I should add that I’m not the least bit offended by this image. My sensibilities aren’t that fucking delicate. I’m not over here clutching my pearls or burning my bra. Like I said, who gives a fuck?

The point here is the deconstruction of the image itself. Agree. Disagree. It doesn’t matter. In a media driven culture, what’s important is making the implicit message explicit.)