Boy Toy or Boy's Toy?
by doorbell on February 27, 2017 - 5:19pm
In 2016, Suitsupply, an Amsterdam based company released some controversial ads promoting their new spring/summer collection. Their campaign is called “Toy Boy”, and displays men as a small/ toy-like playing on a woman’s chest. When looking at this ad it could be difficult to understand what the company is trying to sell, and the first guess would definitely not be affordable suits for men. The ad objectifies, sexualizes, and degrades women.
Advertisement is not meant to just sell a product but to sell the attitude and lifestyle that goes along with it. When you buy the product you want to feel like the model in the picture. With the internet and social media today it is very easy to share pictures and ideas with people all around the world. However, that might not be such a good thing with images that objectify women, just like the “Toy Boy” campaign being shared around around the world. It teaches young girls and boys a terrible message about how they should treat and value themselves, as well as each other.
When you think of the word ‘toy’, it is usually first associated with young children and something for them to play with/entertain themselves. As you get older the idea of ‘toys’ might associate with ‘sex toys’, but still with the idea of pleasure and entertainment. This ad is no different by using the topic of toys and amusement, nevertheless it sends the message that women are there solely for men’s entertainment. The women in the ad is dressed provocatively, only wearing a corset, as two fully dressed men slide down her breasts as if they are going down a slide in a park. Her head is turned to the side, and her mouth and eyes are shut, taking away her voice and her senses. Not only is it disturbing of how the woman is being treated in the ad, but how the woman also looks unbothered and almost pleased to have these two men use her body for their amusement.
It is horrifying to see the way the woman is portrayed in this ad as an object. Furthermore, it is concerning that this is only one out of millions of ads that illustrate women being objectified and abused as a norm. Young men learn that they are allowed to/are expected to be the dominant sex, while women are there as sexual beings waiting happily to be taken advantage of. It is heartbreaking that young girls around the world might see this ad and assume that is their role to shut their mouth and have no voice while men do what they want to their bodies. Women should not be ashamed to embrace their sexuality, however that should not be the predominate factor. The ad displays men looking dominant, empowering, and blissful while the women is displayed as sexy and silent. The men are able to walk and jump all over her like she is a toy and she is supposed to silence herself and be of service to them, because toys are only there as a form as amusement. Toys like this woman are just an object, and objects do not have a voice or feelings or thoughts.
The ad could simply be fixed by humanizing the women. She could be shrunk down to be the same size/equal to the men, as well as being fully clothed in a non-provocative manner. The name of the company is Suitsupply, “suit” being the emphasis. There is no reason to have an almost naked woman with two men sliding on her breast in their ad to try to sell their product.