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Don't Want to Put on My Booty Shoes

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Hey, women: is your goal in life to make men stare at you body and gain the resentment of other women in the process? Oh, and do you like the color pink? Good, Reebok has a shoe for you.

"Discover a 28% more of a workout for your butt, up to 11% more of your hamstrings and calves. So 88% of men will be speechless, 76% of women will be jealous, and 0% will know the real reason is all in your feet."

I don't know how to prioritize what's wrong with this commercial. That it assumes a heterosexual audience? That the reason women should exercise is to make other women resentful and men stare at our bodies? The blatant objectification? But it is true, I wouldn't have guessed with the sexy black-and-white shooting, vinyl needle noise in the background, and naked lady writhing on a bed, that this commercial was selling shoes and not lube.

Unfortunately, Reebok thinks it's struck a gold-mine with the whole Our Shoes = Hot Ass thing. Check out this commercial shelling the same product:

"It's the shoe proven to..." Camera pans to butt. Music stops. She pauses, addresses camera: "Dude?...And it tones your butt up to 28% more just by walking (another butt pan) Ahem! Scuse me?!... I take it you agree (beams at pervy cameraman).

Ew, it's like the brains behind "Secret Girlfriend" are working in advertising now.

And, what really, really takes the cake is Reebok's third commercial. Like the first commercial, the woman is reduced to her body parts. Can you guess which ones?

Boob 1: Hey, did you see? Nobody's staring at us anymore.

Boob 2: Are we still hot?

Boob 1: Kah-learly! You know what? It's all because of that stupid butt down there

Boob 2: Oh yeah! Stupid butt...She gets all the attention now

Boob 1: She's so tight now [ugh, sorry, *ack*, dry heave --Transcriber's note] so round, so pretty.

Boob 2:Stupid butt

Announcer: Make your boobs jealous!

This goes beyond women resenting other women, and women resenting their own body. Here, the woman's body is resentful of itself. Oh, and I don't know if you noticed this, but this is a commercial of TALKING BOOBS. For TWENTY SECONDS. And I think their convo (or "dialog," as the commercial is titled), is supposed to be like the comments other women will presumably will be saying about you wearing your new butt-crunching kicks.

I hope Reebok starts to rethink its sexist, objectifying campaign. Plus it's the whole "Here, let me make you feel bad about your body so that our product can make you feel better" (With the added motivation of female in-fighting and men ogling your body).

Kate Harding at Broadsheet compares this nasty campaign to the way Nike sells women's shoes.

Nike's far from perfect, of course, but when they used boobs, they belonged to Serena Williams and appeared under her crossed, muscular arms and a high-necked T-shirt that read "Athlete," with the caption, "Are you looking at my titles?" When they used close-ups on female body parts and copy about how others might perceive them, it was with text like, "My mother worries I will never marry with knees like these. But I know there's someone out there who will say to me: I love you and I love your knees," and "My butt is big and that's just fine. And those who might scorn it are invited to kiss it." If the new Reebok ads help the company knock Nike out of the top spot, then I'll admit that they made good business sense (after I'm done sobbing), but as it is, the market leader is the one that uses images of strong women who care more about being athletic than being pretty. The market leader is the one that figured out how to sell a major female fantasy: being treated with at least a modicum of respect by advertisers.

When encouraging women to work out to look hot for men, and to convey that insulting message in a commercial meant for the heterosexual male gaze is what it takes to sell of pair of walking shoes (and when Nike sounds revolutionary for marketing athletic clothes for athletic purposes), I would hope that 88% of society as a whole should be speechless.

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Comments

38 comments have been made. Post a comment.

This totally reminds me of

This totally reminds me of one of my recent annoyances: I take aerobics classes at a gym in town, and for the most part I really love them. They are fun and energetic and keep me going to the gym on a regular basis. But every now and then the instructors will say something irritating like, "Keep doing this move and your husband will love your butt." It makes me want to stop mid-lunge and utter a strangled cry of rage. I do not do lunges for my (non-existent) husband, nor for my boyfriend, nor to make other women jealous. I do lunges because I feel much healthier and stronger when I do them than when I don't. Shut up, stupid instructor!

I think their convo (or

I think their convo (or "dialog," as the commercial is titled), is supposed to be like the comments other women will presumably will be saying about you wearing your new butt-crunching kicks mens nursing shoes

Sexist advertising for

Sexist advertising for products targeted at men always just kind of makes me sad (and angry, and frustrated, and...etc).

Sexist advertising for products aimed at women confuses me. Do they not want women to buy their shoes? I can think of so many better ways to position this product in the pretty crowded women's athletic shoe market...why couldn't they?

i know...

... the boobs commercial is especially terrible for this reason. If you're going to have talking, annoying boobs in your commercial, please be selling Axe Body Spray or something else whose target audience is clueless teenage boys, not women who actually might want a good athletic shoe.

____________
Kjerstin Johnson, editor-in-chief
Did someone say "Comments Policy"?

Hideous!

The 'boobs part' is particularly hideous to me because it's just another example of how women with small breasts are less valued than ones with average to large breasts. It was already everywhere, and now another ad gets to join the flock. Sickening.

internalized sexism

Unfortunately, as some of the comments below & Reebok's facebook page confirm, women do respond to these ads. We've all been bombarded with messages that our bodies are never good enough, and that they are the most important things about us. Many of us with a feminist consciousness have managed to break free of some of that programming, but it can be a lifelong struggle. And of course many women, who have not been exposed to feminist thinking and/or who have internalized these message to such a high degree that it can't be overcome, actually believe that their bodies are their most valuable asset. We know that advertising that makes women feel like crap about who they are, that pits women against each other in the competition for men's attention, does work, otherwise it would not be so common. Write to Reebok and let them know it's not working for YOU.
Also, I find it fasinating that most people who like these ads or think this is not a topic worth discussing have posted their comments as Anonymous. Maybe if you valued your own opinions as much as your bodies, you'd claim them publicly.

Why on earth?

All the other idiocies of this ad campaign aside, why on earth would any woman in her right mind want to buy a pair of shoes that makes her feet and legs work harder?

I believe it may be because

I believe it may be because hard work provides real benefits.

I saw another post on this

I saw another post on this same subject. And then I saw the commercial on TV the other day, the one with the pervy cameraman and the woman appealing to the camera. Just disgusted me. At least Nike was attempting to encourage high self esteem.

Yes do this! I emailed and

Yes do this! I emailed and got a message back from some women telling me the ad campaign was extremely popular, and that Reebok felt it was "bold and fun". What would be bold is showing a woman as a fully dimensional person with interests other than how men felt about the shape of her butt.

I went on Reebok's facebook page to leave some comments as well. Sick that they have 80,000 fans on the page, I mean what kind of idiot becomes a fan of a shoe company. They also have a facebook page just for women, with women cooing about how much they want the damn shoes. Really the intelligence level of the average human is frightening.

white supremacist capitalist patriarchy at work

Don't forget to note that the two ads that feature body chopping feature the body of an African American woman and the one ad with the whole body features a white woman. These are the intersections of oppression in full force. We're staring at the tits of a black woman while they talk about her ass, but the whole white woman gets to talk for herself.

Why are we as viewers asked to stare at tits while being told that men are *invited* to stare at her ass?
Why is the black body in parts so she can be consumed by the viewer?

this is a joke. it doesn't

this is a joke. it doesn't have to do with white supremacist, or like others said, against gays.. it's an ad that is selling shoes that are suppose to help a woman get in shape... & seeing as the only reason someone would buy a pair of workout sneakers is to workout in, then there isn't any wrong in making your "boobs" (aka what supposedly represents other women) jealous, cause they're suppose to be jealous. this whole topic is dumb

This comment has been deleted by the administration.

Please refrain from personal attacks in this space. Thank you!

Kelsey Wallace,
Web Editor

Should we be surprised?

Should we expect Reebok to do anything else except try and sell shoes? Should they be a moral beacon too? Can't any ugliness in the ad be considered a reflection of an ugliness in the consumers, gleaned from, no doubt, massive demographic research into what consumers want most in a shoe?

I haven't seen the ad, but I

I haven't seen the ad, but I read the article and this seems like much ado over nothing. I actually DO want my ass to look good for my husband and I wouldn't be upset if other women were jealous of my ass while I'm at it. I'm still a feminist. I think it is crucial that we don't 1. lose our sense of humor or 2. act like "real" feminists don't care about what they look like. I want to be healthy and attractive and sexually appealing. I also want to be respected. I see no contradiction here.

Maybe you should watch the

Maybe you should watch the commercials before you decide to comment on the issue. Seems logical.

WTF

Who wrote these? Did they really think that these commercials would make women want to buy their shoes? This advertising company obvs needs more female staff to tell the guys not to drool over the making of the commercials.

Epic Fail

Well, I was not surprised that Reebok exaggerated/hyped up the product to make sales. After all, sex always sells. But what bothers me the most is the fact that they failed to present the real benefits of the shoes in a very precise, clear way. For example, mens nursing shoes are not exclusively for male nurses. But looking at their features and how the companies advertise these products, male nurses know that they're designed to withstand long hours at work. That's what I call good marketing, and the one Reebok failed to do on this one.

successful failure

how many of you watched 100% of the ads? reebok wins.

Yes, I watched 100% of the

Yes, I watched 100% of the ad and decided that I will never buy another Reebok shoe. Not sure how Reebok wins.

Dear Reebok, I've seen your

Dear Reebok,

I've seen your stupid boob ad on TV for those shoes that are supposed
to tone your butt and legs when you walk. I am intrigued by the idea
of those shoes, because as a first-year teacher, I'm on my feet a lot
and I have no time to work out as much as I'd like. I am also a
lesbian. However, I do not find those commercials appealing at all. I
find them degrading. So, I am going to go to Nike's website and see if
they have shoes like that. I'm sure they do, as they're the biggest
shoe company in America. I don't know why, but I'm sure it has
something to do with their commercials not alienating the majority of
the women's athletic shoes customer base (hint: they're mostly women,
not straight men). Even if no one else carries shoes like that,
though, I'd rather have a flabby ass than buy Reeboks.

My e-mail to Reebok

Dear Reebok,

Thank you for bringing women back to where you think they should be. It's obvious women are nothing more than a hot ass and tits, and it's absolutely commendable for you to point that out for the public. It has been my life goal since I was a little girl to have a hot ass that men would holler at me for, and I'm finally realizing that my dreams are coming true. I mean, who wants to see women for what their thoughts and opinions are? Or what they've accomplished in life? If they've got a hot ass, they don't need to think. Thank you for your innovative ways to help us women do what we do best, which is objectify ourselves.

Sincerely,

A stupid girl who's nothing more than an ass.

Kisses!!!!

That post completely sums up

That post completely sums up why these ads and marketing tools bother me.

The product in and of itself doesn't bother me, it's just the way they market it.

I am very insecure about my

I am very insecure about my breasts and butt. I wish I had a bigger cup size, curvier hips and the hourglass figure. But, alas, I do not. This commercial make me feel like shit about myself; it does not encourage me to buy their product. Rather it has the opposite effect.

This commercial reduces women to tits and ass. Period. Only one commercial do we see a woman's face. The rest is just her body. Those who support this commercial, think it's funny, and believe that feminists need to "stop taking things so seriously" can get fucked. I doubt any of them know what it feels like to be sexually harassed, objectified, and put down. Anyone with a shred of empathy should be able to understand this.

Disgrace

If I ever find out that a woman is behind this commercial I am going to seriously vomit through my nose. The morons who made this commercial need some shoes up their asses. If men are ever going to stop objectifying women it isn't going to start with this crap...Yeah, I really need a shoe for my butt, because you see all I worry about is how pretty I am and how sexy I am and how much fat I have on my ass and will he still love me tomorrow if I don’t have the right size boobs and am I still pretty enough even though I starved myself for eighty days and lived on pickles and will he trade me in for a younger, prettier girl when I am older because I am of no real use after that because women are only here to satisfy men’s sexual desires and why does he constantly compare me to an airbrushed heroin addict and hey, why don’t guys have shoes for their beer bellies and fat asses???? And, truthfully, I guess my job as a sex object is ok because I have no real self worth. At least I have a shoe for my butt. Thanks guys; now go to hell!

Thank you for your measured response

I was hoping there was a feminist organization responding to this ridiculous ad by Reebok. The dehuminization of the female by relating a talking set of and jealousy of the derriere is extremely sexist and offensive. As a flaming heterosexual I was appalled and disgusted and have written Reebok to the effect. Does anyone know of any nationwide measures underway to respond to Reebok's obvious lack of taste or class? I would love to sign any petitions or be involved with letting a number of like minded individuals express our distaste for their insensitive and unethical behavior.

i see this as a joke i don't

i see this as a joke i don't feel insulted i think its funny and as a woman with small boobs i don't feel bad that they are showing large boobs how many people want to look at small boobs most men like big boobs i know that and as long as i like what i'm working with why does this matter so much that you get angry about it so many other things to get mad about just chill out

would you be this mad if

would you be this mad if they were doing this with men and not women if you want men and women to be treated the same then act the same no matter who is being used naked to sell something

They wrote back!

And Lied!

Ok, I wrote a very short, to the point message to Reebok saying that I wouldn't be buying any of their products thanks to their terrible ads. They wrote back, saying:

"The Reebok EasyTone ads were created to clearly illustrate the unique
benefits of the footwear in a fun and bold way. The feedback we have
received tells us that many consumers look at the ads in exactly that
light, however we acknowledge that some consumers do take exception with
the content of the ads."

Hear that? We're the exception! And yet, somehow I find that hard to believe. First of all, in my experience more people are likely to email a company about an ad they don't like. Why would you email them to say "Cool ad"? You would just buy the product, right? Second of all (contrary to the narrative in the ads), actual women don't gush and smile at the idea of being treated like a pair of tits.

Anyway, in the spirit of sharing, I will post what I wrote back:

"Fun and Bold," as in Reducing Women to T&A, and reinforcing the dangerous cultural narrative that women love to be sexually harassed. Thank you so much!

Thank you also for writing back and lying to me about the feedback you've received. I know many people who think your ads are ridiculous and pathetic. The fact that you've gone out of your way to state otherwise, and refuse to admit to making a deeply offensive marketing mistake, shows your lack of competence as a company. It's no wonder so many other shoe companies are more successful than you.

Apparently, the best thing to do in hard economic times is to make terrible marketing decisions, and produce ads that marginalize and demean your customer base, while giving men the go-ahead to leer at every woman's breasts and behinds. We love that! Right, Reebok? And if we work out hard enough, maybe strangers will start grabbing our asses too. Woohoo!

You know us so well.

Good work.

AAHH

I just saw these Reebok ads. I was disgusted. Thanks for posting that corporate email address. I wrote to let Reebok know how disappointed I was. I will never purchase a Reebok product again.

Are we done yet?

I'm so so so tired of women's bodies being used to sell consumer goods. So tired! Ladies, aren't you tired and sick of it already? Seriously.

Money is the only thing that talks, and so just boycott Reebok and any and all other companies using the same boring offensive and frankly harmful female (or male) objectification. Just don't ever by their products again, and let them know you've banned them and why.

It's the only way to stop this nonesense.

Reebok

Perhaps for me the piece de resistance is the current Reebok ad in Sports Illustrated which is a double page spread made to look like a pair of pants with a zipper. When you open the zipper, there are all the SI models. The copy says "Prepare. Unzip." Obviously, the SI reader is being encouraged to masturbate. I'm emailing all my girlfriends and asking them to boycott Reebok. I'm hoping they will send my note on to their friends etc. Anyone want to join us? Money talks to companies. I never knew Reebok had such a sexist outlook until I saw SI and then went searching and found your site.

I hate those commercials

I hate those commercials with a PASSION!!!!! I mean come on! I hate that Reebok makes it seem as if those shoes will magically make you fit. Reality check please!!!
I wouldn't be as pissed if they had filmed the commercial in a gym and had the model lunging/squatting with a nice pair of weights and sweating. At least it's realistic!
And the price... $110??? I'll stick to walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator please!

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