Edmonton Salon Ads Cross a Major Line

by | August 29, 2011
filed under Can-Con, Feminism, Pop Culture

Even with the scores of sexist advertising out there, I was seriously disturbed to come across a series of ads using depictions of domestic violence to promote an Edmonton salon.

From the Edmonton Sun:

Fluid Salon, located near Whyte Avenue, launched the ad series “Look good in all you do” more than one year ago.

But on Monday, the series took a public lashing from local social media users after a New York advertising copywriter featured one of the ads – depicting apparent domestic violence – in a blog.

“I was appalled,” Kasia Gawlak said in an interview. She’s a blogger who saw the ad Monday morning. “It’s like saying ‘at least you have good looking hair when your boyfriend abuses you.’ The women who have been abused with real pain, heartbreak and suffering – it’s not something that should be trivialized to sell a hair salon.”

It’s disgusting, to say the least, to imply that a woman who was being beaten by her male partner would feel better knowing at least her hair looked good.

Unfortunately, it’s not even just the one ad. Another in the series of the “Look good in all you do” shows a woman wearing tights and a bra while smoking a cigarette sitting on a dirty mattress in an alley (implying she’s a prostitute). If you look closely, it gets even worse. On their Facebook page, someone pointed out another ad showing a woman’s being dragged from a hearse by her legs features the “corpse” wearing the same shoes as the woman in the alley ad. Yes, That Jill also found a picture of them doing the woman model’s makeup for the first ad, with the caption: “hottest battered woman I’ve ever laid my eyes upon.”

In their other campaigns there’s a racist ad for Brazilian blow-outs, featuring white women in pseudo-tribal makeup, and another ad showing a woman coated with oil and wearing feathers to promote a portion of hair cut proceeds going to oil spill relief. The women-as-animals in distress is a frequent tactic of other sexist ad offender PETA.

Fluid Hair owner Sarah Cameron, yet again proving that women can be their own gender’s worst enemies, says she sees no problem with the ads: “It might strike a chord, but as the way our society and community is getting, we keep tailoring everything because everyone is getting so sensitive…Anyone who has a connection or a story behind anything can be upset or have an opinion. We are not trying to attack anyone,” Cameron told the Sun.

Tell Cameron & Fluid that trivializing violence against women isn’t acceptable under any circumstances. You can post on the image gallery on Fluid’s Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150395289750206.610405.713520205&type=1 or use the contact form on their site here: http://fluidhair.ca/?page_id=39. You can also complain to Advertising Standards Canada here.



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