You’re about to be bombarded. Bombarded with junk mail, TV, radio and outdoor advertising all competing for your Christmas dollar. Before you purchase gifts for your friends and loved ones, lets remember those brands that have excelled in sexploitation this year, the brands and companies that do not deserve your hard earned money. Cross ’em off your Xmas list! For our third year running (see lists from 2010 and 2011) we are making it easier for you to make ethical decisions rejecting of companies which have not demonstrated corporate social responsibility.
As a first this year, we’ve added a positive alternative: Toward the Stars, an inspiring on-line global marketplace for products for girls. And we’re hoping to be able to add our first major corporate to sign on to our Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge. (Watch this space!) Here’s our list for 2012.
The popular youth surf store continues to push pornified products to young people. City Beach sells what we’ve called ‘porn t-shirts’ -clothing with pornified images of naked and semi naked women.
The range extends to thongs, hats and at the start of the year even pencil cases
were available at its ‘back to school’ sale. We’ve held protests outside City Beach stores in Brisbane and Sydney.
We’ve taken City Beach to the Equal Opportunities Commission and yet they refuse to budge. While City Beach insist on pimping porn accessories to the youth market, you insist on taking your Christmas shopping elsewhere.
Jewellery and accessories retailer Diva began selling Playboy branded jewellery
in 2011 to its target market of tween girls. (also read: The Age)
A petition through change.org accumulated over 8000 signatures and Diva withdrew much of its Playboy advertising and stock from the shelves. But dodgy Diva continued to sell their Playboy range from underneath the counter and stock has slowly crept back out on display in stores again over the past year.
When challenged again, Diva defended their Playboy range as marketed to their ‘mature’ customers. No matter their age, girls and women deserve better than being sold the merchandise of the global sex industry – when it comes to your Christmas shopping, drop Diva.
Lynx, men’s deodorant has continued to churn out their trademark sexist ads throughout 2012.
Lynx’s ‘controversial’ promotions – including the “Rules of Rugby” and the ‘Washes Your Balls’ promotion – are the perfect demonstration of how a company can misuse advertising industry self-regulation to its advantage. Create a ‘controversial ad’, wait for the complaints to roll in, cross promote with sexist ‘lads mags’ then cash in the dollars from the increased exposure. Lynx seems to think this manoeuvre will stop us from speaking out – it won’t.
And while you’re boycotting Lynx, you might want to give this brand a miss too…
What? Dove? The brand that brought us the campaign for real beauty? Absolutely! Dove is owned by Unilever, the same company who owns and markets Lynx. But the sexploitative hypocrisy doesn’t just stop there – under the Dove label, Unilever also sell a number of ‘skin whitening’ products, as well as anti-cellulite, breast-firming and breast growth creams. Making money off body dissatisfaction, sexual objectification AND positive body image campaigns? We’re not buying it Unilever.
In February this year, Mossimo ran a competition asking people to upload photographs to their Facebook “peep show” campaign. Images of Australia’s Miss Universe contestant in her underwear were given as examples, with the ‘peep’ which received the most votes winning a digital camera.
Despite the clear references to the sex industry as well as (the crime of) keyhole peeping on women, Mossimo denied any wrongdoing. The Advertising Standards Board saw it differently, upholding complaints about the campaign. Read about the online protest (and how we won a lovely new Canon camera!) against Mossimo here.
We wrote about General Pants explicit, sexist, and degrading advertising campaigns last year. They have a history of sex industry inspired stunts including live pole dance shows in their shop front windows. We have continued to hear from supporters about shop window displays and the images they display inside their change rooms. Give General Pants a miss.
The Buddy Ball
The Buddy Ball is the creation of AFL poster boy Lance “Buddy” Franklin. When Franklin’s not busy flogging over priced footballs to youngsters, he spends his time ‘co-directing’ Nena &Pasadena, a line of overpriced porn-inspired shirts, popular in surf stores such as City Beach.
In the past 12 months Franklin has brought us (caution when opening links) this, this and this. Posing as a role model for young boys, and then selling them the degradation of women to wear across their chests? We’re not buying it.
Despite being aware of Lance Franklin’s clothing line for almost two years, the AFL has refused to enforce their Respect and Responsibility policy and discipline Franklin. The AFL claims to be committed to addressing sexism and violence against women, but their silence and lack of action indicate they are not serious about these issues. Thinking of purchasing tickets, a membership or items from the AFL store? Think again.
Lovable is not so loveable following its ‘Besties’ campaign, which encouraged women to upload ‘selfies’ to its Facebook page. Jen Hawkins and fellow models, posed in their underwear, featured in the promotion. While the terms and conditions stated that participants didn’t need to upload images of themselves in underwear, the promotion sent mixed messages about cyber safety, prompting the Ad Standards Board to ban the promotion on this basis.
Of course, this is not the first time Lovable has objectified women – previous campaigns have also been so sexualised that they’ve been featured in the now defunct ‘FHM’ magazine.
Typo’s ‘back to school’ 2012 promotion pimped a wide range of porn-inspired travel mugs, iPod covers and notebooks to students. After parents complained and media caught on, Typo agreed to remove the ‘Porn is my saviour” and ”Dirty” ranges. While they withdrew these items, other items, including notebooks with sexual themes intended for school, remained in stores.
Typo are owned by the Cotton On group, who are serial offenders for selling porn t-shirts and sexploitative advertising campaigns.
These are companies that appeared on last year’s ‘crossed off’ list last and which have continued to use sexploitation throughout 2012.
A positive alternative – Introducing Toward the Stars
Created by Inês Almeida, Toward the Stars is an online market place and a safe haven from the commercialisation and sexualisation of girlhood, from the toxic gender stereotypes that dominate the marketing, media, and products targeted to children and young adults. A place full of gifts that inspire and enable girls to reach for the stars. Offering a venue that motivates and supports artists, business and craftspeople to innovate and explore new products that have the potential to change the world.
If you’re looking for gift ideas that will inspire and empower girls, check out Toward the Stars.
Now over to you!
Which stores will you be avoiding this year and why? Are there alternatives to the brands we’ve listed above? Please join the discussion in the comments section below and at Collective Shout.
Serial offenders Diva quietly restock Playboy jewellery at discounted prices
Last year we learned that retailer Diva was selling Playboy accessories- including Playmate of the month themes- to young girls in stores around the country. In response, we circulated a petition that received over 8000 signatures within weeks and generated substantial media attention. Diva quietly removed Playboy merchandise from shelves and staff advised us they had been returned to Head Office.
A few months later, some supporters alerted us that Playboy jewelry was popping up again in shops. Some stores even kept it behind the counter. One supporter Jo shared the response she received from Diva.So why is Diva once again selling the very same items for $3 each?
It is quite clear to us that Diva is not concerned with entrenching the brand of the global sex industry to young girls, not about grooming them to be consumers of the Playboy brand as they get older. Diva initially defended their decision to stock Playboy , describing it as “fashion chic”. However, the Playboy logo found on their jewellery has very little to do with fashion and much more with the global pornographic industry. Playboy Enterprises owns a large selection of TV channels hosting brutal, hardcore pornography. You can read some of the titles here.
In response to complaints via twitter and on their facebook page, Diva have said:
Take action today!
We have reopened our original petition. Please sign it!
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when companies ramp up their advertising in order to compete for your Christmas dollar. There is nowhere you can go without companies placing their product and logo in your face.
Now is the time to recall which companies used sexploitation to sell and promote their products over this past year. You can make a difference by voting with your dollar against sexploitation this holiday season.
Following the positive response to our inaugural ‘Crossed off’ list of 2010, we have compiled an updated list of corporate offenders, who we have selected for specialising in sexism, objectification and sex industry themes in 2011. These companies do not respect women and they have not responded to complaints nor changed their ways, so they do not deserve your patronage.
Beside each logo you’ll find a link to more information about why we encourage you to boycott this company. And don’t forget to let them know why you won’t be buying from them – we’ve included their contact details as well.
For pimping Playboy porno chic to girls and women. Our Change.org petition – currently over 7000 signatures – was recently hand delivered to Diva stores. Some staff refused to accept it, saying they had been instructed not to. Diva is owned by BB Retail Capital, which also owns Adairs and Bras N Things, where the signature brand of the porn industry gets centre spread in linen and underwear, and where women are told to ‘Be a Bunny.’
Contact Diva: email@example.com. Sign the petition here.
Bras n Things
Bras n Things sells and proudly advertises the major brand of the porn industry, Playboy. We’ve written about this here and here. Bras n Things also sexualises girls. For example, the Teacher’s Pet ’dress up’ outfit is advertised with the words ‘This school girl needs to be taught a lesson!’
For sexualised ad campaigns aimed at young girls. Supre advertised using an image of a topless young woman on the back of buses and trams and on their website. A television ad featured a young woman gyrating around her bedroom before falling onto a bed. Supre has a long history of sexploitation with their slogan t-shirts including ‘Santa’s Bitch’, ‘Pussy Power’ and ‘High Beams’ to name a few.
Unilever claimed to care about ‘real’ beauty and the worth of women through its Dove label while using demeaning advertising promoting women as sexual recreation through ‘Lynx.’ Lynx’s most recent offering was banned by the ASB. Unilever once again defended its sexist ads. Unilever owns a variety of different brands, but there is no need to try and remember them all. Just look on the back label of personal care, food and cleaning products for this blue ‘U’ logo. If you see the ‘U’ put the item back and choose another one.
General Pants uses objectification and sex industry themes to sell and promote their products. Large posters of topless women – with only tape covering their breasts – were used to advertise a new fashion line called ‘Sex‘ in shop front windows. Young staff at General Pants were required to wear badges that said ‘I love sex.’ Other promotions have featured topless models and live pole dance shows in their shop front windows. Change rooms at General Pants have featured floor to ceiling ads for prostitution and strip club venues.
City Beach continues to sell pornographic themed t-shirts to a young market. Collective Shout supporter Caitlin Roper challenged City Beach directly through the Equal Opportunities Commission. City Beach were uncooperative and continue to sell items like this.
Other logos for stores, which stock ranges of t-shirts depicting women in porn-themed poses and subjected to eroticised violence are shown below. Sixty high-profile people put their names to an open letter calling for removal of these t-shirts for normalising violence against women and exposing children to sexualised images. Click on each logo for contact details of each store.
Rivers began objectifying women on the front cover of their catalogues. They then used an image of a dead woman on the front cover of their catalogue ’10 Deadly deals’, which attracted complaints and significant media attention. Rivers remains unrepentant.
Contact Rivers by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
In a clear reference to the sex industry Nando’s used a burlesque/stripper model in the ‘Little Hotties’ campaign. Nando’s marketing director Kim Russell described the ad as “sassy not sleazy”. We disagreed. Stop off somewhere else for take away these holidays.
Not the place for your holiday fuel stop, selling extreme porn titles promoting rape, incest and sex with young girls. While BP, Shell/Coles Express and Mobil withdrew these titles after a campaign led by Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids, McDonalds/Fuelzone and Caltex have remained intransigent.
Contact Mcdonalds here (regarding Mcdonalds co-brand with Fuelzone).
Now it’s over to you. Are there any other brands that should be included on this list? Are there alternatives to these brands that others might like to know about? Please share your suggestions below.
Crossed Off in the media
SEX SELLS AND ASB CAN’T STOP IT CAMPAIGNERS WARN
By Madeleine Ross on 15 November
Grassroots campaigners Collective Shout have lashed out at a fistful of brands for sexploitation in advertising and lamented the lateness of the standards watchdog in dealing with demeaning material .
The advocacy group, which encourages individuals to boycott brands which sexualise females in advertising, yesterday released a list of offending brands which included Lynx, Diva and Nandos.
The collective has called on consumers to boycott the brands this Christmas and accused them of using sexism, objectification and sex industry themes to sell products. Read more
Porn identity puts Diva on top of list of shops to drop
November 16, 2011
TWEEN jewellery store Diva tops the list of brands targeted by a campaign calling on shoppers to boycott brands that use sexual exploitation in their marketing.
Lobby group Collective Shout says that as brands step up their advertising in the lead-up to Christmas, consumers should vote with their wallets by avoiding those brands that use ”sexism, objectification and sex industry themes” Read more
Collective Shout reveals list of ‘sexploitative’ brands to boycott this Christmas
An Australian organisation has called on the public to boycott brands this Christmas that it believes sexualise and objectify women and girls.
According to Collective Shout, the companies on its list have been the worst at objectifying and sexualising women and girls through advertising and marketing in 2011. Read more.
In this guest post, Melinda Tankard Reist calls on advertisers to stop sexualising kids and objectifying women
The ad industry has the nasty habit of using self-regulation to its commercial advantage, exploiting women’s bodies in the process. Corporate social responsibility is sacrificed on an altar of sexism.
Inadequacies in the system include a weak code of ethics, no pre-vetting of ads, the Ad Standards Bureau’s powerlessness to order the removal of ads, inadequate monitoring and no meaningful penalties.
Many people don’t know how to make a complaint. Self regulation means the industry gets to do what it wants – and pretty much get away with it.
The colonisation of public space with objectified and sexualised images of women and girls continues unabated. Porn inspired representations of women in the public space have become the norm.
And while sexualised representations of women and girls displayed in a workplace constitute sexual harassment under anti-discrimination law, the open display of similar images of women in the public domain – including in shops, which are also workplaces (e.g. General Pants) – is exempt from these laws.
But wouldn’t it be good if companies chose to act ethically in the first place, rather than being forced to do the right thing by us?
And ASB rulings are inconsistent, with one ad ruled out of bounds following complaints, while complaints against a similar ad by another company are dismissed.
Collective Shout is about to release its line-up of corporate offenders for our annual ‘Cross ‘em off your Xmas list’ campaign. We are calling on consumers not to pay for sexploitation this Xmas – an updated list in the lead up to Xmas will be posted here.
There are plenty to choose from…
Diva for pimping Playboy porno chic bling to its target customer base of girls aged eight-13. Described by Corporate Failings as “Perhaps the most blatant example of consumer disregard we’ve come across”. Our Change.org petition – now approaching 7,000 signatures – was delivered in Diva stores this week. Some staff refused to accept it, saying they had been instructed not to. Diva is owned by BB Retail Capital which also owns Adairs and Bras N Things, where the signature brand of the porn industry gets centre spread in linen and underwear, and where women are told to ‘Be a Bunny’.
Supre for sexualised campaigns aimed at tween/teen girls. From t-shirts advertising sexual availability to topless young models on buses, Supre has a long history.
Nando’s Mumbrella readers may recall the Nandos pole dancing mother. More recently was the burlesque/stripper model in the ‘Little Hotties’ campaign, which Nando’s marketing director Kim Russell described as “sassy not sleazy”.
Unilever for claiming to care about ‘real’ beauty and the worth of women through its Dove label while using demeaning advertising promoting women as sexual recreation – (e.g Lynx Lodge).
McDonalds/Fuelzone, Caltex – not the place for your holiday fuel stop, selling extreme porn titles promoting rape, incest and sex with young girls. While BP, Shell/Coles Express and Mobil withdrew these titles after a campaign led by Julie Gale of Kids Free 2B Kids, McDonalds/Fuelzone and Caltex have remained intransigent.
I’d advise you not to drop in at 7-Eleven for Xmas snacks for the same reason.
City Beach, General Pants, Rivers, Cotton On, Factorie, Roger David, live, Surfstitch, Universal, Glue Store, New Generation for a range of t-shirts depicting women in porn-themed poses and subjected to eroticised violence. Sixty high-profile people put their names to an open letter calling for removal of these t-shirts for normalising violence against women and involuntarily exposing children to sexualised images.
The proliferation and globalisation of sexual imagery in mainstream culture cannot continue to be given free rein. Public accountability and social responsibility – not profit margins – should be the guiding principles.
Here’s the announcement Change.org – who we have partnered with in our campaign against Diva – sent out to everyone who supported our petition calling on the fashion company to stop flogging porn-themed bling to little girls. The petition is close to reaching 7000 signatures. On behalf of my Collective Shout colleagues, thanks to all who supported us. We couldn’t do this work without you.
Incredible news. Diva has backed down and have stopped promoting the Playboy brand. Thanks to you a global brand built on the objectification of women has all but disappeared from their stores and will no longer be marketed to children through Diva.
Collective Shout is a small group of women volunteers passionate about fighting against the exploitation and objectification of women. They started this campaign on Change.org just one month ago — taking on a company that sell over 10 million accessories every year, from over 200 stores in 22 countries!
More than 6,800 people came together and signed the petition demanding Diva change. Thousands of people posted all over Diva’s Facebook wall, and there was media coverage of the campaign in the Herald Sun, The Age, the West Australian and all over the radio.
Now the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that “the online campaign appears to have hit home” with “posters coming down” and the products “shipped out” . Sources inside Diva have said they are “de-ranging” Playboy products, which have almost completely disappeared from their website.
You’ve demonstrated the extraordinary power of individuals and groups to start campaigns around issues that matter to them — unifying their communities and winning change. Thousands came together and forced a huge company to respond to community opinion and become more socially responsible.
This is an important victory — not just because Diva is getting rid of Playboy, but also because fashion stores across the country have been watching this situation closely. They’ll be very conscious of the backlash Diva faced when making their own decisions about what to promote to children.
There’s a lot more to do in the fight for women’s and children’s rights. If there’s something you want to change in your community or anywhere else — it’s easy, you can start a petition on Change.org by clicking here.
Thanks for being part of this,
- Suzanne and the Change.org team
P.S. There’s never been a better time to call on companies to be more socially and economically responsible. They’re very conscious of their brands, and they want to be seen responding to community concern. Click here if you want to start a petition calling on a company to change.
Collective Shout activists who hand-delivered our 6000+ signature petition to a number of stores over the weekend, met with a mixed reception from Diva staff.
We had wanted to make sure Diva knew that thousands of people had signed our Change.org petition calling on Diva to stop selling the Playboy brand to little girls through porno fashion chic bling by delivering copies of the petition personally.
When educator and adolescent psychotherapist Collett Smart and founder of 7Wonderlicious Ines Almeida tried to deliver the petition in Diva’s Pitt Street Sydney store, a staffer at first accepted the bulky document, then said she remembered they had been instructed not to accept it, and handed it back.
Melbourne woman Jessy Edmonston attempted to deliver the petition at Diva, central square Ballarat. “The staff member refused to accept it, saying they had been told all enquiries on the playboy range are to go through the service centre. I left it on the counter,” she says.
However it seems some staff hadn’t seen the memo – or chose to ignore it. When Nicole Jamieson when delivered to Diva’s Norwood S., store, the staff person accepted the document and undertook to pass it to head office.
Our favorite non-Playboy bunny ‘Myxi’, also had a positive response Sunday afternoon at Diva’s Wahroonga store, from a staff person who also said she would make sure the document was delivered to head office. Myxi spent most of yesterday spreading her ‘Bin the Bunny’ message around Sydney.
See our very special friend Myxi Matosis run (or should that be hop) amock at Diva’s Sydney headquarters and later at a Diva store. Like us, Myxi reckons it’s just plain wrong to flog the Playboy brand to little girls.
Collective Shout supporters will deliver our 135-page Change.org petition containing 6000-plus signatures in Diva stores in various states this weekend. We will be letting Diva know personally that pimping one of the signature brands of the global sex industry to its key target customer base of 8-13 year old girls takes corporate social irresponsibility to new heights.
The main delivery took place at Diva’s Pitt Street store at 11am this morning.
Here’s a statement issued through Change. I look forward to sharing some photos with you. I believe a Playboy bunny known by her stage name Myximotisis will make a surprise visit to a NSW Diva store on Sunday.
THOUSANDS DEMAND DIVA ACCESSORIES
STOP SELLING PLAYBOY PRODUCTS TO LITTLE GIRLS
Parents & women hand-deliver 6,000 signatures-strong petition to Diva, call on company to stop selling pornography brand Playboy to pre-teens and girls.
SYDNEY, NSW – A group of parents, psychologists, women, and teens delivered more than 6,000 signatures from an online petition campaign on Change.org to Diva Accessories’ Sydney store today. The group is demanding that the fashion jewelery store stop selling and marketing pornography brand Playboy’s products to pre-teens and little girls.
The petition was handed over to the company by child and adolescent psychotherapist Collett Smart.
“Playboy is now a billion dollar global brand profiting from the exploitation and subordination of women,” Smart said. “Now it has craftily adapted products to suit a younger clientele – but the message is the same. ‘Playmate’ pendants and even pencil cases emblazoned with the infamous bunny reinforce the damaging idea that girls are simply sexual objects.”
Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigning movement against the sexualisation and exploitation of young women, launched the campaign against Diva just three weeks ago. Within hours of the campaign’s launch, Collective Shout recruited thousands of supporters on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change.
Thousands of people from all over Australia have since registered complaints, called Diva’s head office, and posted thousands of messages on Diva’s Facebook wall protesting against the promotion of a brand they say systematically degrades and objectifies women.
“Diva’s Facebook page says it encourages feedback but they’ve been unable to respond to all the criticism and it has become a real public relations nightmare for them” said Melinda Liszewski from Collective Shout.
“Diva’s target market is 8-13 year-old girl,s and the company has put its head in the sand in response to the calls of mothers, fathers, and daughters, along with concerned individuals from all round Australia,” Liszewski said.
The delivery of the 6,000 signatures from the online campaign on Change.org is set to be mirrored at Diva stores across the country throughout the weekend. Parents, young women, girls, concerned shoppers and even an angry Playboy bunny will visit their local Diva store to deliver the same message: stop selling playboy products to little girls.
“What Collective Shout has accomplished in just a couple of week is remarkable,” said Change.org campaigner Suzanne Culph. “Armed with only their laptops, they have managed to recruit more than 6,000 supporters from all across Australia to call on Diva to think more carefully about its customers. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Collective Shout’s campaign take off.”
Collective Shout is a grassroots campaigns movement mobilising and equipping individuals and groups to target corporations, advertisers, marketers and media which objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services.
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.
0427 375 550
The winner of our Diva caption competition
Collective Shout has announced the winners of our caption competition for this image.
First prize: Rebekah Robinson for ‘Diva: we weren’t porn yesterday.’
Second Prize: Angela Silk Fraser for ‘Diva: mistaking rear ends for fashion trends since 2011’
In an earlier post the same day, Corporate Failings asked ‘Has Diva lost its credibility?’ based on the words of Diva Australia founder Collett Hayman who, having sold the company a few years ago, said in an interview:
“Diva was my creation and a company that I am still very proud of….Nothing would make me sadder than to see it lose its credibility”.
Well, Collett, you should be feeling pretty damn sad about now.
Collective Shout has launched a caption competition for this photograph, taken outside a Sydney Diva store featuring a woman who will remain nameless (‘I’ve never seen her before in my life officer’) who wanted to make clear just what Diva is supporting, lest there be any doubt. There have been 100 entries so far, including ‘Diva: we weren’t porn yesterday’ and ‘Diva: for when your little girl doesn’t look cheap enough’. Entries close Friday and there’s a stack of books on the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls to be won. You can enter through our Facebook page.
Finally a Diva Facebook page you can like
Check out the alternative Diva FB page. It’s a wonder to behold. Please like it and share with you friends.
Tell Diva to stop channeling the pocket money of little girls to Hugh Hefner and cut its ties with the porn industry
In the past few days a number of Collective Shout supporters have reported Playboy posters removed from Diva shop windows, Playboy products either entirely removed or hidden behind counters (just like porn used to be…. “Pssst wanna have a look at some Playmate pendants?”). If you haven’t yet signed our petition, please do so today.
Why is the Playboy empire peddling its bunny logo to the middle-school set?
The Playboy brand has come a long way. Playmates now samba proudly on family friendly fare like “Dancing With the Stars,” and its empire is the subject of a retro-themed fall drama. But are you ready to let your little girl be a bunny-to-be?
The Collective Shout blog points out that the Australian accessories chain Diva — a kind of Claire’s Boutique for the Down Under set — has launched a Playboy line of accessories. What’s your pleasure, kids? A necklace with an iconic rabbit silhouette? A vintage-looking bowtie?
Diva isn’t Toys R Us, and Playboy isn’t trying to peddle Baby’s First Bikini Wax. The merchandise in question includes earrings and pendants, not plush toys. But that doesn’t mean that either Diva or Playboy get a pass for another obvious attempt at sexing up young girls. Diva, with its cute pink heart logos and invitations to “BFF us on Facebook,” aims squarely, unambiguously at the junior set. Most grown women aren’t looking to pick up a K Perry ring or a Pixie Dust Necklace with Tinkerbell charms.
That’s what’s seriously messed up about this product line. As Collective Shout justly asks, “Why is Diva wanting to dress [girls] up in a Pornography brand?” Sadly, because they can. Playboy is a company sells young women cute accoutrements — and sells men those young women’s asses. It’s no coincidence that the ubiquitous little bunny on Diva’s harmless-looking necklace also appears on videos of girls clad only in knee socks, making out with each other. It’s all part of the same, deliberately crafted corporate identity. They’re Playboy. Their entire enterprise is built on giving guys something to spank it to.
You don’t have to some stuffy anti-porn zealot to grok that there’s a reason some thngs are called adult entertainment. And while a girl may not fully understand what the rabbit around her neck represents, rest assured that plenty of grownups get the symbolism. And who in their right minds would be cool with a daughter advertising herself as a mini-Playmate? Wait, don’t answer that. Are they the same kind of people who’d dress a toddler up as a hooker?
Growing up is a natural process for every girl. And the child who was clutching a teddy bear just a short time ago may someday grow into Miss June. But the objectification of younger and younger females – from padded bras to Playboy bunnies — turns girls’ burgeoning sexuality into something that’s not for their pleasure at all. It teaches them instead that they’re playthings, to be displayed and logoed and ogled. Once upon a time, the word “diva” was applied to a female of power, grace and talent. Now, it just means a store where you can trick out your daughter like a centerfold.
Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of “Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream.”
We have hit 1000 signatures! Help us at least double it.
Sign the Change petition today. And ask your friends to as well.
Diva is an Australian fashion jewellery retailer popular with young girls. Alongside items such as Winnie the Pooh charm bracelets, Disney Princess pendants and Cute Cupcakes Best Friends necklaces, Diva has now chosen to stock Playboy brand products.
Playboy has succeeded in embedding its bunny logo on pencil cases, bed linen, cosmetics, jewellery, wallets, slippers and key chains, normalizing and sanitizing the Playboy insignia to children and young people. Playboy deliberately markets its brand to girls as cool fashion chic. Diva has become a willing participant in pimping the brand and its values to its young customers. Many of the Playboy products the company sells are decorated with sparkling diamantes or are in the shape of love hearts. There are ‘Playmate’ pendants and Playmate of the month necklaces (‘Miss January’, ‘Miss February’ etc), which invite girls to think of themselves as porn stars. One necklace depicts a Playboy bunny from her backside down. Her upper body, including her head, is missing.
No longer merely a ‘soft-porn’ magazine, Playboy is now a billion dollar global brand profiting from the exploitation and subordination of women. Playboy Enterprises pornographic film titles include “Cum Drinking Sluts”, “Barely 18 Anal Virgins”, “Fresh Juicy Lolitas”, “Double Entry”, “Wait your turn, bitch!” These films and others depict women enduring body punishing and violent sexual acts for men’s sexual pleasure. Diva pretends this doesn’t matter.
Diva has defended its promotion of Playboy as being “in the name of fashion”. Diva takes no responsibility for putting profits ahead of a corporate social responsibility not to sexualize and exploit young girls. Please sign this petition calling on Diva to remove all Playboy items from sale.
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“This powerful and humane book is a breakthrough…Big Porn Inc shows us we are poisoning our own spirits.” – Steve Biddulph
“A landmark publication” – Clive Hamilton
“Getting Real contains a treasure trove of information and should be mandatory reading for all workers with young people in health, education and welfare” – Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Adolescent Psychologist
Do you read women’s lifestyle magazines? Have you thought about how magazines might affect you when you read them? Faking It reflects the body of academic research on magazines, mass media, and the sexual objectification of women.
Ruby Who? is the sweet and innocent story of a little girl’s adventure in re-discovering her identity. Ruby wishes for so many things and dreams of being like others. Will she end up forgetting how to just be herself?
Ruby Who? is the sweet and innocent story of a little girl’s adventure in re-discovering her identity. Ruby wishes for so many things and dreams of being like others. Will she end up forgetting how to just be herself?
Defiant Birth challenges widespread medical, and often social aversion to less than perfect pregnancies or genetically different babies. It also features women with disabilities who were discouraged from becoming pregnant at all.