It’s About Being Yourself and Objectifying Women

You are probably wondering why the first thing you see in this post is a gross-looking picture. Well, this is a photo from http://www.alphanail.com/ which I found thanks to Skepchick Quickies. Alphanail is nail polish (nail armor and nailshine, as well) for alpha males. Uh, what?

I have no problem with men wearing nail polish. Absolutely none. I don’t particularly like finger nail polish for myself, nor do I find it attractive on men, but I don’t care if other people wear it. My issue, then, is not with male nail polish.

My issue is this photo. The nail polish is being marketed to “alpha males,” and to illustrate that they show a photo with two faceless woman draped across a muscular man who has his hand on one of them like he owns them.

Its about style, its about confidence, and its about being yourself in any situation. Alpha Nail knocked it out of the park.

The nail polish is about “being yourself,” and that apparently includes making women’s bodies into property. Alpha males get to be people, but women are just there for adornment. Who they are doesn’t matter in the slightest.

If Alphanail is “about style . . . about confidence, and . . . about being yourself in any situation,” why doesn’t the ad show a strong, confident, classy man?

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9 thoughts on “It’s About Being Yourself and Objectifying Women

  1. That’s decidedly a poor choice of picture to illustrate the idea of an “Alpha male”

  2. Jimi says:

    Sadly this is objectifying men as well. This ad is saying to be a man, a real man, you must be muscular and in shape, able to attract women to you and from what I can make out of the image, have a big package.

    However, what I find most humorous about this article is that the women have more clothes on than the men, in fact in this instance it is the man that is barefoot.

    • That is very true. From other things I’ve read to day I had the objectification of women on my mind, but I should have at least noted what it is saying about men. I definitely thought about it. What really bothered me, though, was that the women don’t have identities. They’re just bodies.

      • Jimi says:

        Jean Kilbourne has a great series of videos called “Killing Us Softly” it deals specifically with these issues. I found the video to be very captivating and any time I can apply it, I re-watch the video to help remind myself of seeing everything when writing a paper for school.

  3. hbhatnagar says:

    What I found astonishing was that the ad agency went to the extent of actually cropping off the faces of the female models; that was the most objectifying measure in the whole ad, to me. It’s kinda like some kibble ad, you know, I can just hear the tagline, “It doesn’t matter who they are, they’ll all come running.” I mean, the ad makes it clear enough what it thinks of women, but to actually go and crop their heads off??? Wow!

  4. wanderingatheist says:

    I’m not saying that they did not objectify women, but the defining statement in this ad is, to me, that to be an Alpha Male ™, you must WANT women. It alienates an entire demographic section of the male population, and it’s a section that could conceivably want nail polish (especially if the polish was marketed better than this crap.).

    As a side note, what other methods do you think that the photographer and art director could have used to show the male model’s fingernails covered in paint (which is usually defined as a feminine grooming habit) and still maintaining his “heterosexuality”?

    I’m pretty sure the marketing behind this went something like “Hey, this is a product that has a target female demographic. Anyone seen wearing this is going to be considered feminine. We need to ramp up the masculinity. Put it in paint marker packaging, put in hot girls turned on by his metro-sexuality, and hide their faces, so they can still get jobs later without having to admit they were associated with this crap. Oh, and while we’re at it, hide the guy’s eyes, too so he has deniability.

    • The image definitely suggests more to me that they were trying to make the man the dominant one in the picture, and the best way to do that was to literally make the women’s bodies into objects that he controls. I highly doubt the marketing ideas included anything about making sure the girls could still get jobs without admitting they were associated with that product.

      I agree that it alienates an entire demographic section of the male population.

      The photographer and art director could’ve used any number of other ways to show what they wanted to show. They could’ve shown a classy-looking man dancing with a nicely figured woman. You could even obscure her identity by showing her face turned away from the camera. His hand splayed out on her back or otherwise conspicuously displaying the nails would have worked. They could have used a fighting scene since they seemed to like UFC fighters. I have no doubt they could have found myriad other ways to display fingernail polish on men while still making them look hetero, since that’s what they’re clearly going for, without making it look as if they consider women to be objects that should be scantily clad and thin without individual identities.

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