A recent marketing campaign for the Vancouver Whitecaps has gone viral, garnering a lot of attention which, I suppose, was their intent. And what better way to promote anything than to use women’s naked bodies! Works every time.
First, it was announced that there would be a ‘find-the-billboard’ contest; the billboard, which went up last week, featured a model who has a Whitecaps jersey painted onto her body:
and then, a video was released, showing the model being painted:
As pointed out, aptly, by Vancouver forestry executive and novelist, Anne Giardini: this is not what women who are interested in soccer look like. They, rather, look like they are playing soccer. And more often than not, they are clothed!
Using women’s bodies as accessories in advertising, and as entertainment for sports fans, rather than allowing them to just be participants in the sport, or simply to be fans, without the focus being on their sexualized body parts is so unbelievably typical that it is hardly surprising at this point. But enough already. Not only is this the least creative way of ‘getting the word out’ about a sports team, but it completely marginalizes women and makes painfully clear what their role is in sports. The role, being, of course, decorative.