What a banner week it’s been for tasteless fashion imagery: first, Vice uses (some quite recent!) female suicides to sell designer shit in an artsy editorial, then from China comes someone’s “anti-pervert stockings,” which carry the one-two punch of insult that 1) female body hair is so gross no one will want to touch you if you have any and 2) perverts/rapists/harassers of women let such things dictate how they choose victims.
But! Can either of them really compete with this ad out of Beirut for Lebanese leather goods designer Johnny Farah?
Yes, that would be the image of a man–clad in various belts in a seeming allusion to the gimp or something like it–choking a woman with a belt. Again, a man choking a woman with a belt… as a means to sell pricey belts. Violence against women… as a cool, sexy marketing ploy.
Might we remind you that this occurs during the same week that a famous millionaire can brutally choke his also-famous wife at a fancy restaurant in full view of paparazzi and fellow diners and, as yet, suffer no repercussions.
Per Copyranter, the ad marks “a collaboration between Farah and photographer Joe Kesrouani at Farah’s Saifi Village Boutique later this month.” So far, no apology (of course) but the brand posted a link to a story about this on their Facebook, saying only, “A little bit of controversy.” Huh.
Also: for those of you tempted to step down from Cerebral Tower to explain, yet again this week, that such things are art, that art isn’t supposed to make us feel comfortable, that we don’t get it and we need to stop being so PC: fuck you. Just, ugh, seriously. Fuck you.
UPDATE: No, it’s not technically an ad–though it is advertising something; it’s an official invite to a Farah event. The brand says the image was taken at an event previously, where people were allowed to pose for their own photos. Also, apparently it’s intended to “portray the frustrations that are leading the Middle East revolutions — taken to the extreme.” Sure. Regardless of where the image comes from or what political unrest it supposedly represents, Farah still saw fit to stamp their logo on it and release it as an advertisement for a brand-sanctioned event.