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I was recently purusing an awesome blog called Steal Our Ideas (it's really amazing, I suggest checking it out), when I came across this idea for an ad that I absolutely loved:1

Diesel Ad Idea: You Will Never Be This Awesome

I think the reason I loved this piece is that it really spoke to me as a social commentary about fashion advertising. While Diesel's advertising2 does not "take itself too seriously"3 so much of fashion advertising is about selling an idea or a persona. While this sometimes is effective, as I ride the subway and walk down the streets of NYC I find myself turned off by most of the fashion advertising I see. I will never be the person in that ad, and I don't aspire to be. The models in these ads are so beautiful that they're ugly, but even beyond that I would argue that the attitude and lifestyle they portray is one I don't wish to call my own.

Here are a few examples:


American Apparel Ad

Let me put it this way, the summer I interned in NYC between junior and senior year of college, I lived with a Ukranian stripper (it was accidental...she said she was a bartender on Craigslist)-- anyways she owned one of these mesh dresses, and I hope I never need to.


Dolce & Gabbana

Can anyone say gang bang? I mean really, this add is about power and possession, 5 men surrounding one woman -- who just happens to be forcefully pinned down. As a man I wouldn't want to be the men, because really who wants to share something (that's right, the woman has been completely objectified by this ad) that's been around the block 5 times in such a short period -- as a woman I don't want to be there because...well...I don't really have the desire to be gang banged. Common D&G sexy does not equal gang bang, no matter how well lit and composed a photo is.


Tom Ford

Dear Tom Ford, No I will not iron your pants, especially if you're reading the paper -- if you have time to read the paper, you have time to iron your own pants. No Tom, I most certainly will not iron your pants naked, its dangerous, especially if your legs are so long that the elevation of your lady parts falls at the same elevation as the iron. I like men in nice suits just as much as the next girl, but I like those men even more when pretentious advertising that objectifies and demeans women4 doesn't appeal to them. Oh yeah...and if they can iron their own pants it's a big plus in my book.


I get that sex sells, and I get that people want to feel sexy...these are things we all know. At the same time as a young woman who occupies a job that a woman would have rarely occupied 50 years ago, it would be nice to look at the ads produced by the fashion industry and not feel like I have to take a step down and back in time when pursuing fashion. American Apparel5 makes great basic clothing items, D&G is one of the biggest bad ass fashion brands out there and Tom Ford designs great modern suits for men. If being awesome means partaking in what is portrayed by these ads, sorry fashion're right...I'll never be that awesome.

  1. The text beneath this image reads: "The fashion world takes itself way too seriously, but Diesel is an exception. They have done a remarkable job mixing humor and sexiness.  ”You’ll never be this awesome.” is a confident and self-deprecative strategy that speaks to the unattainable beauty of the fashion industry. " - via the Steal Our Ideas blog
  2. I would argue that Diesel has had its fair share of advertising that objectifies women and is ultimately douchey
  3. as the Steal Our Ideas blog states
  4. To see more Tom Ford Ads like this one (and this isn't the worst one visit:
  5. More American Apparel ads are available here:

I love New York for many reasons: the fast pace, the crazy people, the way everything has a charming layer of grime on it, the skyline at night, and the fact that getting anywhere in this city, even though it might take awhile requires minimal attention on my behalf. So as I was walking out of my subway stop this evening at Eastern Parkway - Brooklyn Museum I was delighted to see a valentine's day poem posted on the wall written to MTA.

Given the immense challenge of shuttling 8 million people, I think most of the time the MTA does a pretty good job. It seems whoever wrote this valentine feels the same way. This little valentine brightened my day. To whoever wrote this valentine, you are awesome!

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