Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the Streisand Effect

There are times where I cannot believe the depth that marketing teams stoop to in order to sell a product. As both a father and a photographer I'm compelled to speak out against this following ad Ralph Lauren is distributing.

This is revolting. Disturbing. As one blogger posted, "Dude, her head's bigger than her pelvis."

I feel like I'm looking at Jack Skellington's bitchy sister.

I've always loved shooting fashion photography, but that can often be a love/hate relationship. This is due to the unrealistic fashion expectations hoisted upon women of all ages, especially with heavily photoshopped images like the one above.

There is no way in all of Creation that women can hold themselves to such a standard. The very assumption that they can is what incites so many tragic cases of anorexia and bulimia world-wide.

Ralph Lauren is also currently issuing a DMCA -Digital Millennium Copyright Act- against Photoshop Disasters and Boing Boing regarding their criticism against the image.

In response, Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow issued a stern warning to Ralph Lauren yesterday on the website, saying that the company's attempt to silence their criticism has only inspired them to step up their efforts in the future:
"Copyright law doesn't give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:

a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;

b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and

c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models."

Huffington Post has also joined the fight against Ralph Lauren, sparking the newest viral Streisand Effect.

Instead of addressing this disturbing, and accurate criticism, Ralph Lauren responded by accusing Boing Boing of copyright infringement for reprinting the ad. Even though, As Boing Boing points out, this is "classic fair use: a reproduction 'for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting.'"

Happily, Boing Boing will not be cowed by Ralph Lauren's threat, as co-editor Cory Doctorow makes clear:

So, instead of responding to their legal threat by suppressing our criticism of their marketing images, we're gonna mock them. Hence this post.

Other strategies for battling Ralph Lauren Doctorow plans to employ include: reproducing the ad with the original criticism, publishing Ralph Lauren's legal threats and offering "nourishing soup and sandwiches to [their] models."

I, for one, plan to do my best to shield my daughter from these unrealistic, unattainable expectations by corporations that do not hold her best interests in mind. I seriously hope that other parents will do the same.

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