What I Hated the Least Today 108/365: The Billboard Nude

Mara has found her magic

It was an exceptionally productive morning for my cat, the professional sleeper and hobby model. My alarm woke me to the cat already being busy working on her tan, comfortably stretched out in a sunny spot next to my bed. I found that cute and demotivating. To take my revenge, I shot her repeatedly. With my phone camera, of course. She didn’t care to wake up at first and when she did open one eye half-heartedly, she didn’t care to stir.

By exercising extremes of willpower, I went through my yoga routine (dozing off while at it a few times but faceplanting only once) and eventually moved my ass and my bags containing teaching materials to the bus stop. There I stood, had a smoke – please be warned that smoking kills (so does life) – and gloated in the sweetness and light of my favourite larger-than-life billboard hanging from the side of the station building.

I deem the billboard both aesthetically and intellectually satisfying because instead of depicting a nude woman, which is as sexist as it is boring, it depicts a nude man. Since the emancipation of men in sexist advertising has still a long way to go, the not-yet-fully-naked man is modestly wrapped in a towel. I’m somewhat bothered by the ridiculous martial art pose he strikes, but otherwise I find the billboard man ideal.

My trouble with people in general and male people in particular is that I demand in them a bundle of features that I presume never come together. It’s not as much asking for outright beauty and brains combo, it’s rather the basic requirement that I shall not be either visually or mentally offended when interacting with someone. This is harder than it looks. I’m usually inclined to run away very fast and very far whenever a previously nice-looking person starts to speak.

This pet peeve of mine explains a few things, including why I consider a picture of someone frozen in time and space more appealing than an interactive three-dimensional model. It also explains how come that my cat is perfect. She is not only inoffensive but straightforward pleasant to look at and, best of all, she never opens her mouth to speak. When she does open her mouth to meow, I find her arguments valid. Because cat.

Speaking of ads, here’s a bonus before/after pic

Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

24 thoughts

  1. Isn’t it sexist by placing a man up there? I say it goes both ways but of course this goes so much further toward women. I don’t see the sexist debate ever ending. Sex sells and everyone on the planet knows it. Not that I approve of course. That bottom photo doesn’t jive…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surely it is sexist whether a woman or a man is used this way, but I was pleased to see that there has been progress and that now it’s not only nude women who are used to advertise anything at all, but also nude men. Since, as you suggest, it can’t be helped, it’s only fair that we get more sexist ads featuring men to balance the whole thing out 😉 I laughed at the bottom photo so much when I came across it – because it’s just so true.


  2. I find most large billboards have a both obscene and humourous angle. The visual in your face aspect I find somewhat offensive but the whole nature of society that we need to be confronted with advertising telling unless we have this or that or we wont be complete humans is often a great joke to me. I was pleased though to see Mr Klein caters for all sizes. Just think the guy on the left was once loved by someone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, the real-life-looking guy in the Klein underwear was probably once loved by someone. Curiously, I find him less repelling than Justin Bieber. There’s something about poor Justin that annoys me immensely.

      I have a strange selective blindness which causes that I never notice what product is advertised even when I look at the ad very carefully. I tend to think of the techniques used in the ad to promote the product – no matter what product – and needless to say that I don’t feel influenced by ads like the one I took picture of. It took me literally about a month to notice that my favourite semi-nude guy from the billboard advertises some men’s cosmetics.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you walk straight out, without coffee or something? Yes both smoking and life kills … none of us will get out of this alive. And that expression is so hackneyed, it isn’t funny, but it puts things in perspective.

    The animals are always looking good. They have nice furs, and don’t need clothes to cover themselves. With regards to facial features of humans … who the hell made up the rules for what’s pleasing or not?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, never would I leave the house without having coffee first – I just skipped the boring bits when I was having a shower, washing and drying my hair, applying make-up, drinking coffee (and smoking), dressing up… Now it’s clear why I didn’t dwell on describing this tedious routine, isn’t it?


  4. How nice to find someone as disgruntled with the real world as I am, and so taking a step back to watch it play before us (although I am a dog person, and I do need to have a coffee or three to get out the door)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, hello, fellow disgruntled person! I’m not much into people, but with grumpy people, I make exceptions 😉

      I should be on a coffee drip tube, but I’m still coping with the classic way of coffee consumption in mugs. So not to worry, I did have a coffee before I left to stare at the billboard guy 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember a billboard from the late 1990s which showed a naked female model wearing nothing but a Rolex. The slogan was “Did you notice the girl the watch is using?” Politically incorrect on so many levels and yet somehow cleverly self-deconstructing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe!! It’s amazing that we’re using the same theme, yet our blogs look completely different. I’m pleased that you managed to solve your issue with support – I said before that I don’t have a great experience with support, but more accurately, I received help when I asked for a feature which was there but I didn’t know how to activate it or for some help with CSS. I didn’t receive any help when I inquired about some features of the old editor, wondering if they would be introduced in the new editor. I was more or less told they wouldn’t. I read your exchange with support with much interest – it’s funny, the bottom menu bar that fails to extend to the full width of the site was precisely what bothered me most about the theme. I chose not to use it at all. Now that you brought the topic up, though, I checked on mobile and I can see no menu at all. Oops. I’m not sure whether I’ll bother to fix it. Too busy setting up my new computer… Yes, I’m still doing it.


      1. Yes, I went and looked at your page too, from the phone, because I wanted to see if it was just mine. It wasn’t, obviously. Normally, I wouldn’t have bothered with the theme, and just moved on, but this was a bug so I thought I could at least report it. This whole conversation took only a few minutes, I applied the little work-around and it worked. Still think it should be fixed, though. I may like this for a while now 🙂 I do like the ones that have only excerpts on the index page …


        1. Currently I love the theme on your blog better than on mine. But there is one thing – when I use the gallery post format, the photos show up as a slideshow, which is ok, but there is no way to click the slideshow to open a full-screen lightbox view. WTF? Have you noticed this? What am I missing?


          1. I just tried it. You’re right. There’s no way. Not good. I think the gallery format will have to be avoided — better to make a regular post and insert a gallery the usual way …


          2. It sucks. It’s nice that the gallery format shows the slideshow in the featured image of the post, but it doesn’t make sense that it can’t be viewed full screen. I think I might raise a question in the support forum.

            I just discovered that it’s the font you use that makes your blog look better to me than mine. It’s funny how much difference a font makes! I don’t think I’ll copy you though, not nice. And I want it my own way anyway…


          3. Font makes a huge difference — even just line-height can make a big change.

            It’s unusual that this guy (who made the theme) makes mistakes like this! He’s very good.

            Yes, I think it should be addressed …


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