Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bigots Freak Out About Beautiful Lingerie Ad

Some of The Lake And Stars ads selling lingerie are causing controversy. Why? The models are a mother and her adult daughter and they are touching. Oh, the horror! See the ads here.

There’s Lauren Rosenblum’s reaction

Sexy? Beautiful? Extremely awkward? We just can't decide.

Why can’t it be sexy, beautiful and sweet? Or playful and innocent?

The mother and daughter pictured in the campaign are not models by trade, Zilberman said. They are just her next-door neighbors in Brooklyn, everyday women, who seem to have an interesting relationship. "They're always so loving and tender towards each other," Zilberman said.

"That's what really drives the collection and what drives the photos: these women who are experiencing something that we're not necessarily experiencing. I wanted to present portraits of them so that people would see the chemistry that they have. I think it's really rare, you don't see a lot of that."

No, we certainly don't see mother-daughter duos embracing in sheer underthings. Scantily clad women is nothing new in fashion advertisements, but there is something extremely unconventional about the way The Lake And Stars had the mother-daughter pair pose so provocatively.

First of all, there is nothing going on in the ads. This prejudice against closeness between family members is very sad. Secondly, even if the relationship is consanguinamorous, then where’s the harm? They are both adults. Let them have the relationship they want with each other, whatever that does or does not entail.

I think some of the people protesting or expressing discomfort at these ads “protest too much.”

Here’s another take, with the title “And Now Here’s Your Incest,” prompted by the above piece.

I’m really not understanding the world. Is it me?

Here is the designer’s rationalizing gobbledygook of idiocy.

What’s the idiocy? Notice there’s no explanation about what the problem is.

norman Einstein…

The idea of getting sexy with your parents is REPUGNANT, and that is for a REASON.

And that would be…?

And that was one of the "better" comments. There’s a lot of hate and paranoia expressed, but no actual defense of their disgust. I don’t think these people got a lot of hugs from their parents.

Elsewhere, Gina Marinelli wrote

Designers Nikki Dekker and Maayan Zilberman, who are also setting up a two-week The Lake & Stars + SOFlab installation by BOFFO Building Fashion 2011, seek to portray how a woman feels when she slips into The Lake & Stars by highlighting each woman's personal sense of confidence, despite standing next to her offspring and mother while dressed only in bras and panties. Side by side, mother and daughter pose together in a way we have never seen before. Though we can't imagine convincing our own mothers to try for this kind of holiday family photo, come Decemeber, we'll definitely be emailing our own Hot Mommas this link.

Surprise, surprise… Fox News freaked out

“These ads are highly suggestive. They are clearly designed to titillate consumers; mostly men. The incestuous and lesbian suggestions, with the phallic images of cactus and logs, are juvenile at best,” psychologist Dr. Nancy Irwin told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “I'm disgusted, yet hardly surprised by this. Advertisers (particularly of undergarments) continuously push the envelope on good taste to simply get attention and drive sales."

However, the company's owner said they were shocked that the campaign had garnered such a negative reaction.

"We're surprised that people are reacting with such violently negative connotations such as incest, given that we were only making light of a healthy and beautiful relationship between two women... something we think people in our culture are often uncomfortable with, especially when there is so much focus on competition and gossip,” said Lake and Stars’ owner Maayan Zilberman.

The world would be better off with more women, whether mothers and daughters or sisters or complete strangers got along this well.

New York Magazine rightly laughed at Fox News.

After all, is it really so beyond weird for mothers and daughters to be together in their underwear? And if we're going to be literal, don't a lot of mother-daughter traditions actually involve sharing a changing room? (Trying on prom or wedding dresses, for example.) But on the other hand, those logs! Disgusting.

This reminds me of these earlier postings:

Mother and Son Affectionate, Bigots Freak Out

Sophie Monk and Her Brother

Icing Love?
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  1. I think the ad pictures are an excellent affront to the stereotypical idea that becoming a mother steals something from you, that you can no longer be strong or confident, that it will "destroy" your body, that you can no longer be sexual as a mother ... and a pile of other stigmas surrounding mother-daughter relationships.

    When I look at the pictures, I don't so much see mother and daughter getting it on or anything that implies consanguinamory, actually. In the second image, I see a mother protectively holding her daughter (you can see that in the way she's staring down the camera, as if she's saying, "Just try to hurt her"), and a daughter relaxing in the comfort of her mother's embrace.

    The fact that they're watching lingerie, and the fact that people are freaking out about it, reminds me of the people who freak out when they see a woman breastfeeding, because they see breasts and sex and inextricably linked, so they see the act as a sexual assault on an infant. I think that it's rooted in the discomfort with the idea that a woman's power and strength can come from her being a sexual person (the femme fatale phobia), or a woman being a mother and sexual (the virgin-whore dichotomy).

    The whole thing also sounds like, "if you are being sexy anywhere near a blood relative, your kids will come out cross-eyed" (another false stereotype). The cultural fear of consanguinamory has reached the height of pathology at this point. It's pathetic.

  2. All very good points, Macha. Thanks as always for your sharp analysis.


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