In His Shoes

Recently, there’s been some discussion about sexist ads by companies like Guess Jeans and Kraft promoting shitty products and appealing to people with low self-esteem because no-one with a good sense of self would buy a crappy brand-name, especially not one that shamelessly objectifies people (usually women).

There’s a men’s shoe company, Windsor Smith, which “specialises” in sexist ads that get loads and loads of criticism, none more than a print campaign which hit billboards and magazines a few years ago. It featured a busty woman kneeling at a sitting man’s feet, her head in his hand directed at his crotch with connotations of oral sex. The woman’s head and chest were in far more prominent positions then the man’s shoes, which may as well have been out of the picture altogether for the part they played in the ad.

The man was aloof, arrogant, entitled; the woman was subservient and sexual. It defied the condemnation of the Advertising Standards board but was not withdrawn because apparently it was a brilliant little money-maker.

What does this say about the kind of men who went out and bought a pair of Windsor Smiths after having seen this ad? That they’re so desperately insecure that any hope of having such adoration and obedience is worth clutching at? To me, it was the classic “╦ťforget the product, buy the lifestyle’ ad; if you buy a pair of Windsor Smiths, you too can have beautiful, busty women falling at your feet to be your subservient sex objects.

From what my boyfriend tells me, Windsor Smiths aren’t a particularly good quality brand, certainly not for what you pay. But then, you’re not really paying for the shoe, are you? You’re paying for the beautiful, busty woman who will fall at your feet to kiss your shoes – and suck your dick.

Yet another example of how you need a sexist, morale-demoralising ad campaign to promote an overpriced, mediocre/crappy product? If Windsor Smiths were exceptionally high quality and worth paying the price, would they need to sell a lifestyle of sex and subservience? I doubt it. My boyfriend doesn’t buy Windsor Smith because he doesn’t think they’re worth what you get; I like to think his inability to be swayed by this sleazy, sexist campaign has something to do with his security with himself and his respect for women.

Which is a good thing for him, because like hell I’d date a man who wore Windsor Smiths.

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