While some bodies are socially-defined as For Display, others are defined as embarrassing or disgusting. Indigo and Artemis sent in a great example of these distinctions being reinforced. This series of billboards appeared in The Netherlands with the tagline “The Sooner You Advertise Here, the Better”:
Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
The billboard humorously advertises the billboards availability for advertising, a clever version of “Your Ad Here.” It does so, of course, by suggesting that the model’s body is so repulsive that the threat of simply seeing it should be enough to make us reach for our wallets. While cultural beliefs about who is and isn’t attractive are often framed as biological or evolutionary, it can’t be denied that, at least in this case, we are receiving a strong social message as well.