As shown in this advertisement, published by Durex for XXL condoms, a light skinned woman—or a woman’s LIPS, not even her full face—has bandages around the corners of her mouth. It clearly implies that the woman’s lips are not big enough to give oral sex to a man who has XXL genitals. The audience that is targeted is heterosexual men.
This ad tells us it’s okay to objectify woman based on body parts and what they supposedly have to offer. This is a clear example of what Beauvoir talks about when she claims that the woman is considered to be the “other”. As she states, “…she appears essentially to the male as a sexual being. For him she is sex—absolute sex, no less.” As discussed in class, in order to dehumanize woman, ads are published showing only parts of their body, or in exposed situations. This clearly shows both. Beauvoir also states, “…indeed no one is more arrogant toward woman…than the man who is anxious about his virility.” Durex adds to the hierarchy set in place where woman are inferior to men and are vulnerable beings.
What is ironic is that the product the company is pushing should not be applicable to the majority of its consumers. The average penis size when erected is 5.88 inches. Durex XXL condoms are 8.3 inches in length. So why advertise bigger than necessary condoms? Obviously men need to feel masculine and superior in every way, especially penis size. This supports “the man who is anxious about his virility”. So they are also selling the idea that men need to be bigger.
Furthermore, this ad is socially acceptable and even considered funny. One article that featured this ad was written by a woman who titled it “13 Creative Condom Ad Campaigns”!
Devlin, David, and Christine Webber. “Facts about penis size.” NetDoctor.co.uk – The UK’s leading independent health website. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. <http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/sex_relationships/facts/penissize.htm>
“DUREX Condom Size Chart.” The Condom Monologues. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. <http://condommonologues.com/durex-condom-size-chart/>
Jhally, Sut, dir. Killing Us Softly 4. Screenplay by Jean Kilbourne. 2010. Film.
Simone de Beauvoir. “The Second Sex: Introduction”. Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives. McCann and Kim, eds. New York: Routledge, 2003
Vega, Nora. “13 Creative Condom Ad Campaigns – Oddee.com (creative ad campaigns).” A Blog on Oddities: the odd, bizarre and strange things of our world! | Oddee.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. <http://www.oddee.com/item_96887.aspx>