The notion that the fashion industry treats women as objects is not a new one, but it’s certainly a preconception that few clothing manufacturers ever bother to challenge. Clothing brand Stüssy, however, has decided to take objectification one step further–by turning one of its models into a stripper.
Sending out a clear message that the female body is a mere vehicle for selling products, Stüssy Amsterdam has started a ‘Strip For Likes’ campaign on its Facebook page, whereby a female model wearing all the clothes from Stüssy’s Spring/Summer men’s range removes a piece of clothing in return for users “Liking” Stüssy’s Facebook page.
Most objectors have focused on the fact that Stüssy’s campaign actually violates Facebook’s page terms, which dictate that “You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.” If Facebook shuts down Stüssy’s campaign on these grounds, great.
But here’s the real reason Stüssy’s advertisement needs covering up: The campaign relies on the sexualization and objectification of women. Even if the model is still fully clothed at this stage in the campaign, the advertisement’s whole premise rests on the assumption that at a later stage she won’t be. Stüssy is banking on the pull of a promised naked woman to bring in attention, customers and ultimately revenue. It’s no different from trying to sell a car by draping a scantily clad-woman over it–and even car manufacturers are smart enough not to insult their female customers in this way any more.
Stüssy’s campaign commodifies women’s sexuality even more blatantly than usual in advertising. By positioning the naked model as the end goal, and seeking currency in the form of ‘Likes’, Stüssy is asking Facebook users to participate in a transaction akin to slipping a dollar bill into a stripper’s thong. Stüssy’s message to its potential customers can be summed up thus: Want to see a sexy woman wearing nothing? Just pay us in props and she’s yours.
We don’t want to press the “Like” button. Instead, we think it’s time to give Stüssy a big thumbs-down DISLIKE by demanding that the company ditch its offensive campaign.
Contact Stüssy’s European Headquarters at 49 0 234 369 6640, or in the U.S. at 949 474 9255. Let them know that not only are they in violation of Facebook’s terms of service but that they’re turning off half their potential consumers with sexist ads.
If you can bring yourself to visit their page, you can also report Stüssy to Facebook by right-clicking the ‘gear’ icon next to the Message button. Click Report and then select ‘Scam or Spam’.