Pregnant Woman Doing a Striptease: Feminist Advertising?Hannah Tennant-Moore
HOTmilk, a New Zealand-based maternity lingerie company, has come out with a new ad that is so sexy you probably don’t want to watch this at work or with, say, your mother-in-law in the room. You know feminism has succeeded when even women in the third trimester get to be sex objects!
According to HOTmilk’s Web site, “Pregnancy and being a new mother are challenging times in a mother’s life and wearing plain lingerie certainly doesn’t do anything to lift her spirits. This is a time when, more than ever before, she needs to feel special. Our philosophy is about empowering women, to remind them that they are beautiful confident and SEXY!”
If your entire sense of self-worth is derived from your appearance, then yes, plain lingerie might bring you down. But if you derive some joy from, say, saving the 60 bucks you were going to spend on a lace maternity bra and instead treating yourself to a delicious meal or a foot massage, since you spent all morning puking and the last thing you want to worry about is how your cleavage looks, then I’m not sure HOTMilk would be the most “empowering” choice for you.
Don’t worry, fellas; you get to be objectified, too, in the special “men’s only” section of the Web site, which asserts that “a man’s purpose is to buy women stuff.” HOTmilk is also seeking a “Milk Man” model, with the sole criterion, “must have a great body.”
All that said, I actually think this commercial is pretty interesting creatively, and I have no problem with women–or men–buying expensive maternity lingerie. I just don’t like its being called female empowerment.