Burly Dudes Replace Hot Models to Illustrate Double Standards in Advertising

It’s no big secret or anything. Double standards start infecting our brains early in life. Since before we are born, actually. Boys require blue, girls need pink. Boys don’t cry, girls are more sensitive. Superhero costumes are marketed specifically towards boys while the girl’s versions are pink and flimsy. Boys play with cars, girls like dolls.

Remember the wise words of little Riley while ranting about the girl’s options at Walmart? “They want all the girls to buy princesses and all the boys to buy superheroes! The companies that make these try to trick the girls into buying the pink stuff instead of stuff that boys want to buy!” She’s only three and she already knows what’s up.

Welcome to the world, little mama. A world where my son is told by a grown man that he shouldn’t be wearing the nail polish he loves so much because ‘that stuff is for girls.’

It goes both ways. Specifically when it comes to the objectification of the female body. You don’t see dudes in hot pants and heels hawking hot wings anywhere, do you? Where men have the superhero costume world on lockdown, we women have the body objectification market cornered. It’s something that one Oregon-based Ducati dealership brilliantly illustrated with the stunning photo series you see below.

Hot girl on a motorcycle. It’s as much a part of that industry as the bike itself. You’ve seen the photos; hanging in your mechanic’s shop, on a calendar in your uncle’s basement. We’ve seen sexy women draped all over cars, couches, clothes, bedding and pretty much any other product you can name so it doesn’t faze us anymore. Got a product to sell? Get yourself a hot chick.

That’s exactly what Arun Sharma, general manager of Portland’s Ducati dealership MotoCorsa, did when he wanted his shop to be the first to circulate promotional images of the new Ducati 1199 Panigale. He hired a beautiful model to wrap herself around the motorcycle and pout into the camera. But this time a bunch of people (sassy women) gave Sharma a hard time when he shared the images of the woman draped all over the bike on his Facebook page. So Sharma had an idea. He asked the same photographer he had worked with, Alicia Mariah Elfving, to style his own workers in the exact same poses as the female model.

The guys in the shop agreed to the project and drew numbers to see which guy would mimic which pose the model had previously been photographed executing. The result is a bunch of guys looking so hilariously awkward that it becomes a stunning example of just how much we objectify women’s bodies without even realizing it – and what a double standard the whole marketing thing is.

“The conversation I really wanted to have is if you can put a girl on a bike, you should put a guy on a bike. And, if that looks silly to you, (then) you should rethink the other,” said Jensen Beeler, editor of Asphalt & Rubber which first showed the photos on their site.

The reaction in the motorcycle industry has been mixed. As CNN reports, one American motorcycle PR firm said, “Half of this made us throw up in our mouth a little bit.”

Really? Which half? Because it’s the photos of the girl making love to the machine that give me the heebie jeebies.

As Beeler notes, the photos just might help spark not only conversations about double standards and gender equality, but the actual manufacturing of products that both men and women want to purchase.

“If you want more gender equality in the consumer base, we have to have more gender equality in marketing and the way you’re approaching things,” he said. “Gender roles are still an issue that people find relevant, and I think that’s why we saw it getting picked up in niches and exploding from there.”

Take a look at the brilliant photo shoot and take note of your initial reaction to each photo as it’s likely a perfect example of how completely we’ve all been brainwashed.

All photos courtesy of and photographer and “Moto Lady” blogger Alicia Mariah Elfving

  • Wanna Buy A Bike? 1 of 13

    It's really comfortable!


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  • It’s Red 2 of 13

    The woman doesn't come with the bike, though. You should know that straightaway.


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  • 3 of 13

    I find heels are the best shoes to wear when opening her up on the freeway. The bike, I mean.


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  • Does This Bike Make My Butt Look Big? 4 of 13

    Just polishing her up a bit before taking her out for a spin.


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  • Make-Up Mirror A Must 5 of 13

    This is why I like the Ducati. The placement of that side mirror really helps me touch up my make-up.


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  • Comfy 6 of 13

    This is my favorite way to ride my motorcycle.


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  • Pensive 7 of 13

    I can often be found relaxing on my bike in just such a manner.


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  • Smize! 8 of 13

    Wait! That dude is totally runway ready! Take note, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn!


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  • Serious Business 9 of 13

    I like to wear my racing jacket with hot pants.


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  • Oops! 10 of 13

    I seem to be having trouble with my biking shoes. I wonder why.


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  • Brrrr! 11 of 13

    I'm so cold! Maybe zipping up my jacket will help.


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  • Do You Smell Something Burning? 12 of 13

    Is that a gas leak?


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  • Nighty-Night 13 of 13

    Relaxing, as one does, on a motorcycle.


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