I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, in my experience, the kind of folks who like to watch Project Runway are the same kind who enjoy a nice penis—in other words, straight girls and gay boys. And because I'm feeling a bit douchey, I'm even going to go ahead and make the broad generalization that Project Runway's fan base is almost entirely straight girls and gay boys (gay girls, I'm not at all sure how y'all feel about it).
Which is why I found it so very strange to see an ad on the side of a NYC bus this morning featuring Heidi Klum, the show's host, sprawled out on the ground in a bra and panties, holding a pair of scissors close to her body with one looking like it was about to snip her nipple clear off. And then the tag line: "It's cut or be cut."
Of course, the ad pushed all my feminist buttons (woman as object; powerless woman; male gaze; violence towards women; yadda yadda yadda). But it also made me wonder just who in the fuck this ad is meant to appeal to? I mean, as a straight woman, the ad only makes me want to clutch my own nipple in fear and sympathy. Not a turn on. And I can't imagine it does much for most gay men, either. Straight men with a taste for BM (an acronym I just made up that stands for bondage and mutilation) might feel aroused; or maybe even just straight men in general. But does anyone think that's going to make straight men want to watch Project Runway?
But maybe that wasnt the strategy at all. Maybe this ad was actually meant to piss me off. Could it be that the entire intention of the ad was to serve as ladyblog bait? That it was meant to go viral? That we'd all get all mad and write about it and in the end we'd do the job of helping to promote the show?
Well, guess again ad geniuses! I've posted my outrage here, but I've also blocked out the info you wanted me to help spread around.
What do you all think?
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.