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Thread: (Female Body Image) University Facebook Campaign Backlash

  1. #1

    Default (Female Body Image) University Facebook Campaign Backlash

    The basic story is that a University's Facebook page posted a picture of a very thin woman in a bikini, and asked: healthy or not? Instead of starting a debate, it started a wave of outrage.

    I asked a friend about this, and she told me it's offensive because "some old man [the guy running the page] thinks he can judge health by looking at a woman's body, or that this body was somehow a social issue." I can see how this is offensive in a small-scale way, but I am kinda confused by how this became such a big, newsworthy story.

    Maybe I'm not understanding exactly what is so bad, due to sexism/a deficit in empathy. If so, could someone correct that and break it down for me?

    Here's the FB post:

    Edit: Because they're a University? That must be it. It's an official page of an institution that is supposed to promote critical thinking. That's my best guess.

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    Maybe there was outrage because it's a bit of a dramatic image? Universities tend to extrude waves of positivity about why their school is awesome. It's just unusual. I'm not saying what they did was wrong. It's just different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post

    Edit: Because they're a University? That must be it. It's an official page of an institution that is supposed to promote critical thinking. That's my best guess.
    It looked like it was an advertisement to get people to go to the college ("apply now to St. Thomas U" is what the image says, right?) but it can seem exploitative since it's using a provocative image from a social topic perspective [women's bodies], and it also happens to be a woman in a bikini, to get people to apply. There were so many ways to brand the advertisement to sell the school, but this is the one was chosen.

    It creates quite the mix of feelings. Not really surprising that some people had a bad reaction to it.
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    I think it wasn't really well thought through. It's like someone said "Let's find a controversial subject that we can use to advertise our university's focus on 'critical thinking' -- what about this body image issue?" and people just went "Sure, let's do it!" Then they sent it off to the marketing department, who just 'did what they were told' and produced the artwork...
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    Seriously Delirious Array Udog's Avatar
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    Oh yeah... I actually flinched from that.

    First, you have a picture of a woman who is so thin that she may, in fact, be unhealthy. She's also in a pose that emphasizes her ribs, and causes her shoulders and elbow to almost pop out of her skin.

    Yet, she's also in a sexually charged position with a sultry facial expression. While we are meant to be unsure about whether or not she's healthy, we are clearly intended to see that she's sexy. And give her a big thumbs up.

    All this disguised as "critical thought", when in reality, it's very much exploitation of women in order to both pander to male hormones and create controversy with women.

    Yeah, not surprised this blew up. It's kind of what the school wanted, although I'm sure the old dude that posted this will file this under "be careful what you wish for".

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    Ah okay, I can see how this became a news story now. Thanks for clearing that up guys!

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