Today, while I was waiting for the coloring product on my hair to work its magic, I grabbed one of those magazines that are usually available at the hairdresser’s. It happened to be April’s issue of Femme. After turning a few pages I stumble upon this two-page advertisement:
- Yellow Aïshti box
- Silhouette of a woman wearing a short dress
- A naked woman holding a pair of scissors in her right hand
From the movement of the woman, it appeared to me that it was as if she “cut” her way out of the Aïshti box, since she is walking from the right to the left.
I used to love Aïshti’s previous ads. They communicated glamor, exclusiveness and made me dream. But this advertisement came as a shocker to me. I had never seen a fully naked woman in a Lebanese magazine before. So I photographed it with the phone (as I always do when I see something that I would qualify of “weird”). It also made me think about what was going on in the advertising world and the excessive use of the female body for advertisement.
Later in the evening I went to City Mall, I passed by Aïshti’s store there. I thought I’d just go in there and ask about the advertisement. Maybe I was missing something. That’s where things got a bit messy: I immediately felt that I was unwelcome. I asked the lady about the advertisement… but how did she react?
She looked at me upside down, then said aggressively that it was the magazine’s fault. At that moment, I said: “But usually, Aïshti’s ads are so classy, what happened here? Why did they need to show a fully naked woman this time?” The lady replied that the ad has been changed then in a pause: “The naked lady in the ad did not mind…Why would you?”…”What did you see in the ad anyways?” she continued. I told her that it felt like if I’m not dressed from Aïshti, I should feel naked. “See? You got it all wrong! This ad means that we dress you from head to toe!” and then she gave me a complaint card saying: “I can’t pass your message to the management but you can fill this card if you don’t like it or you have something to say.”
I filled it briefly and left. All I did was ask a question with the hope to get an explanation. I did not understand the down look I got a the reception. Umm, well, first, I don’t usually go shopping in high heels wearing D&G in City Mall. I visited every shop on Via Del Corso in Rome, Italy in a less than interesting attire yet I was better treated. (Geez! I came back with 10Kg of overweight because of excess shopping!) And second, all I did was ask a question. (Sorry, but I usually do that when I care and made the effort to go inquire in order to be able to build an informed opinion.)
I think that the lady could have directed me to someone who was more apt to give an answer if she felt it was not her job to do so since I’m not supposed to know who does what in the store.
Put aside my misadventure at the store, what do you think of this print advertisement?
Here is a print screen of the ad from the website:
Ivy’s experience with Aishti in June, 2011: http://ivysays.com/2011/06/13/an-unfortunate-incident-at-the-aishti-outlet-in-ashrafieh/