Culture-Jamming Sexist Ads

From Sociological Images: Reader Tara C. sent in a great excuse to revive an old post featuring public resistance to marketing that sexually objectifies women. As I wrote back then, this resistance shows that:

Adding commentary to the ubiquitous images that surround us [can help] us to notice, even if just temporarily, that our environment is toxic to our ability to think of all people as full and complete humans.

Commentary on a Special K. ad in Dublin, sent in by Tara C. (via Broadsheet):


Hey there Special-K Lady.

I know you think I should diet

So I can be slim just like you.

thing is, I think I look pretty fabulous

Just the way I am

Also, Special-K tastes like cardboard

so piss off

Toban B. sent us a set of photographs. These were snapped in Seattle, Washington by Jonathan McIntosh:

This one was written on by a teenage girl in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It reads: “I’m sick of sexually tinted images.”

Tricia V. sent us an example of this kind of resistance in Haiti. The billboard below is in for a brand of beer called Prestige. Tricia writes: “The writing [along the bottom of] the billboard says “Ko O+ pa machandiz” which translates as ‘Women’s bodies are not merchandise.’” She was impressed at the effort exerted to climb up and write across a full-sized billboard.

Ang B. snapped this photo in Madison, Wisconsin:

Some further examples:

For an example of backlash to public anti-sexist messages, see this post on defending privilege (trigger warning).

Pictures from here, here, and here.

This post was originally published on Sociological Images.


  1. Actually, the writing on the Dutch poster says “I’m sick of sexist images” (not sexually tinted).

    Other than that, great post! 🙂

  2. That was just AWESOME!!!!!

  3. All these are so great! But I don’t think that last one was sexist. Women’s haircuts *usually* just take more time and effort than a man’s, hence the higher prince.

    • Only if the woman doesn’t like short hair or the man doesn’t like long hair. I think it should be “short hair cuts $9.99 long hair cuts $16” because, frankly, I like having short hair and I don’t think I should have to pay $6.01 for a simple hair cut because I have a vagina.

      • It’s not easier to cut hair shorter. If you go to unisex salons, the male clients take just as much time in the chair as the female ones.

  4. Dominique says:

    Exactly!!! My hair is shorter than most men’s. When someone charges me $2 more, that’s their tip. If they don’t like it they can set up their own non sexist shop.

  5. Where can I get these stickers? I walk through DC all the time, the metro, bus stops and see tons of offensive stuff. I feel like this is a great way to call attention to the thousands of images we are presented a day. If only we could mark every magazine ad or from television with some kind of warning label!

  6. Enjoyed every bit of your article. Keep writing.

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