"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Thursday 11 November 2010

Become A Woman, Eh?

As you know, I am rarely lost for words.

Opening up a magazine today, an ad for vodka got my attention.
 SVEDKAs “R U BOT OR NOT?” campaign has been launched in Canada.

As a sign of who is in control in my brain, and the power of that hidden female, the reaction I had was first disappointment, then anger. What I'd like to know is how women feel. How are you affected by this advertising?

I acknowledge the efforts of their artist to include aspects in the imagery that will get the attention of the men who see the ad. Why this would convince them to drink Svedka vodka, or any vodka at all, escapes me. Thinking about it too much could send me to my favourite alcoholic beverage, I suppose.

Obviously, this creation is designed to be sexy. The elements include the ‘over-the-shoulder’ glance, the prominent breasts, rounded buttocks and the feet apart, high-heel dragging-behind stance, all say ‘come hither’. Please tell me, as a woman, do you want to ‘be’ this robot? As a trans-person, do you want to be this?

Is anyone else disappointed by this, or am I sad and old and just a lot ‘behind the times’ and over-reacting? Should I just shut up and pour myself a glass of prune juice and turn on a game show on television?

No, (you knew there was more, didn’t you?) instead I did some soul-searching. 

Here are some thoughts on my visceral negative response.

Assuming this image is an artist’s crystallization and therefore our society’s belief of what it means to be an attractive female, I will tell you that with a lot of help from a credit card, I can be this attractive woman, and likely, so can much of the human race, NOW.

Shave the head, put on a full body corset, falsies & bra, and cat-suit and let them do their magic. Get a local beautician to do the makeup, slip on the heels, and voila! Instant (well almost) woman! Not only woman, but stereotypically attractive and desirable 'fem-bot'.

Just don’t get too close, or ask them to talk about anything. Don’t ask that ‘bot’ to be anything real. All she can do is stand there, look sexy, and sell (vodka).

Before I leave, two other thoughts:

When a person is looking for a job, is this the image an interviewer has for a suitable woman?

When the ‘powers that be’ ask us to go full time for year, how much of what they expect us to be comes from this sort of stereotypical thinking?

So, before you leave, take a look back up top to remember that for some, that is a woman.


  1. I know this doesn't even address the points in your post, which are all good, but as a non-glamorous cisgender woman, my very first thought on seeing that photo was:

    "Wow, that floor looks slippery, in those heels I can see an ankle or knee injury in her near future. Ouch!"

    I guess I know I'm not a supermodel just as much as I know I'm not a robot. I'm at peace with that. I don't see this as any better or any worse than other advertising using whatever the currently accepted "sexy" female body image is. Perhaps I'm missing something, or I'm just jaded.

  2. Sexy art has been around for as long as there have been artists characterizing beauty. Look at Barbie dolls designed for girls. Totally unrealistic and toonish but they're kind of cool looking imagery.

    The male body is similarly exaggerated. It's the surrealness that often catches the eye. I don't think anyone expects to match it.

  3. Blimey. It's obviously warmer than I thought in Canada in November!

  4. Maybe it is the obvious lack of any reality in this 'supermodel' that has really brought home what should have been obvious to me all along; no supermodel (or their photoshopped image) is supposed to be a real woman.

    They are all made of plastic and we should not be thinking of them as anything but highly paid 'bots'.

    I was surprised, I suppose to realize how taken in I have been for so long, never having given this issue much thought when looking at advertising.

    No worries. Normal service resumes soon I expect. :)

  5. My hubby just walked through, so I pulled him aside to ask his opinion.

    Him - "What is that, some kind of sci fi thing?"

    Me - "No, it's from a vodka ad. Do you think it's sexy?"

    Him - "Not particularly. What's that supposed to be, her butt hanging out?"

    So there you go, a man's opinion. In fact, it's the opinion of an artist whose work usually involves scantily-clad, shapely women... though now that I think about it, those women have always been dominatrix or warrior woman types... strong female archetypes.

    As for myself, I find it hard to really have an opinion either way. Guess I'm just too desensitized by all of the advertisements and other imagery I've seen. Actually, the main thought that comes to my mind is what an enhineering feat it would be to actually create a humanoid robot that looks like that! Yeah, I do love sci fi!

  6. Bot can't be a real woman...there is no smile. :)Suzi

  7. I warn you all... I am reaching for the prune juice! LOL

  8. I aspire to be a woman, not a fembot! :-(

    Melissa XX

  9. My first thought: Wow, that's a fine robutt on that fembot.

    My second thought: Hmm, that's an unusually objectified female image.

    In the end, it was mind over (one particular) muscle.

  10. Isn't this just to appeal to blokes who spend way to much time playing computer games. Perhaps they will drink vodka while blowing up or shooting whatever.
    I once saw an advert for a computer beach volleyball game in a male toliet in Holland. It said tissues were not supplied with the game.Sorry for that horrible image.

  11. @Leslie; two spirits one body - I know the feeling.

    @Karen; EEEEWWW!

    It has occurred to me that most people would be a lot more immune to this sort of imagery, from sci-fi movies, television programs, video games and so on, most of which I do not see. As Angel suggests, there is a desensitizing factor.

  12. Jim sez the "model" looks neither attractive nor sexy. But add a little more metal (for roundness). Maybe. Maybe not.

    BTW, I really do like the new name for the blog. And the layout looks a little familiar.



  13. These types of ads are simply a further objectification. The Bot has all of the "desirable" features of a female body but no personality. It is in this sense pure sex. So you have the correlation of the crisp and pure taste of Svedska and the pure sexuality of a woman without personality, the guiltless pleasure with no responsibilities. You could take this further and further.


  14. @ Kathryn; yours is a very interesting insight, and yes, YUK.