New cosmetics range raises questions for consumers
Fashion designer Tom Ford has released a beauty range with lipsticks labelled 'Age of Consent' and 'First Time'. The products, which can also be found alongside perfume 'Lost Cherry', are an unmistakable reference to sex with underage girls.
Many have taken to social media calling out the brand’s sexploitative marketing ploy:
While the sexual harassment and abuse of women and girls continue to rise, Ford’s branding or more accurately, corporate grooming, only further attempts to normalise sexual access to the bodies of teens.
What are these products communicating to teens - a demographic the cosmetic industry is increasingly targeting? That being the object of sexual arousal is normal? That their youth is a quality that is sexually desirable?
Melinda Tankard Reist wrote on the eroticisation of child sexual abuse, asking how it was that as a society we condemn the abuse of children, while normalising it for profit:
“We are destroying cultural norms that once taught male adults that children’s bodies are off-limits to sexual use. We cannot fully address child sexual abuse until we reject a culture that glamorises it.”
Tom Ford has a long history of sexually exploitative advertising. Ads for the label sexually objectify women, reducing them to a series of sexualised body parts, or depict naked women alongside fully clothed men.
It appears Ford is going even further than his routine objectification and sexualisation of women and adding the sexploitation of teens to his catalogue.
Normalising and promoting the idea that teen bodies are available for sex is a threat to the safety of girls and an endorsement of paedophilia.
Tom Ford Beauty is part of Estée Lauder Companies. This range is currently on the shelves of retailers Mecca Beauty, Sephora, David Jones and Myer. Let them know what you think and ask them when they are going to exercise corporate social responsibility by removing these products from sale.
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