This is a cover of Vogue featuring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen. Notice the postures: LeBron as the hulking, angry black man, and Gisele as arm candy. Apparently this issue has a whole section on “the World’s Top Models and Star Athletes.” Hmmm, I wonder what the gender breakdown is?

Notice also the way in which the image reproduces the famous King Kong imagery:

Here is a link to an MSNBC segment on the cover.

Thanks to Carmela Z. for sending this image along!

NEW (Jan ’10)!  Ruth D’R. and a reader-who-wishes-to-remain-anonymous sent us this (highly photoshopped) photo of Kanye West and Lady Gaga, one of the images in her “Fame Monster” CD liner notes.  Some argue that it, too, reproduces the racialized King Kong imagery in which a black man (threatens to) ravage a white woman:


Some may think that this is a reach.  But I think her nudity, plus the symbols of primitivity (the plants, the erupting volcano, and even the khakis) clearly invoke animalism.

This is a doll Mattel put out as part of the Barbie line a few years ago. Her name is Midge. Apparently she is Barbie’s long-time friend. If you notice, Midge is pregnant. Her belly opened up and there was a baby inside. The line Midge is part of is called Happy Family.

This is Alan, Midge’s husband, and Ryan, their son. Midge and Alan were married in 1991, according to Mattel.

This is the whole Happy Family line–Alan and Ryan, Midge and baby, and grandparents.

The pregnant Midge doll was quickly pulled from the market because of protests that Midge might be interpreted as a single mother. Mattel argued that Midge and Alan had been married for years, but conservative groups argued that since she was sold separately, girls could get the wrong message and think she wasn’t married.

The first two are from the Gaultier Classique line. The third image is called Le Male. The final image is Fleur Du Male. You can see other examples of the women’s line here.

Thanks, Melissa C.!

I saw this energy drink this morning at a gas station. Notice that it’s sugar-free. According to the website, a portion of proceeds goes to fight breast cancer, though it’s unclear if they mean a portion of the profits of the drink, or just things bought at the online store. Another example of the idea of doing good through consumption, not by just donating money directly to an organization addressing an issue you care about (for other examples see here, here and here). Also, the website says Go Girl is not a rehydration drink (such as Gatorade), but a “functional beverage,” whatever that is.

This is an ad I found in The New Yorker for Patek Philippe watches. The text in the lower-left corner says “You never actually own a Patrick Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation.” So by buying an expensive, new watch, you’re creating a “tradition.” I’m going to use this in the future when I talk about inventing traditions.

The text says “Awakens like a horsewhip on the backflesh. A slap to the cerebellum since 1780.”

When I think of horsewhips and 1780…well, I don’t necessarily think of horses being whipped.

Am I nuts here?

Warning! These images may not be safe for your workplace.

Laura L. sent me the above images.  She says many of them came from Here’re some more:

This next set was found at Feministing (found here and here):

In case it’s not immediately apparent, in this table your wine bottle is sitting in the entrance to the vagina:

A female torso as ipod speakers (found here via Feministing):


NEW (Jan ’10)! Liscadifretta sent along a link to this clothes hanger:

For more great examples of not-so-theoretical objectification, click herehere, here, and here and don’t miss our posts on urinals, food, and boobs.

Should you wish, you can buy any number of Chromeo t-shirts showing women’s legs.

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.

This is an ad for a diet pill called SlimQuick: