Reebok Easytone Shoes are the hot topic of the hour on sites as diverse as gossip and business blogs. The flavor of the Reebok Easytone debate is not over the shoes themselves -- which Wallet Pop has confirmed are actually comfortable. It is over the sexy ads and Web site that promote Easytone shoes by heavily depending on close-ups of a model's butt, breasts and body. See one of the 'shocking' Reebok Easytone ads below, and judge for yourself:
The model is attractive, but I would not want a pair of sneakers that made my bottom so flat. Is that kosher to add to the fury being unleashed by those who find this marketing campaign beyond poor in taste? I hope as an actual woman who loves to exercise, my opinion counts. I have heard much more random perspectives on Web sites that suggest that anyone who complains about a woman's body being ogled in an ad is probably fat and ugly anyway -- as if the nature of the Reebok Easytone Shoe commercials are justified by other people's flab. From a business perspective, this mantra of justification is being repeated everywhere: Sex sells, sex sells, sex sells. But does any excuse justify the promotion of female objectification that continues to run rampant in our society?
Sure, on the one hand, Reebok has shoes to sell and the Easytone looks pretty boring without the sexy marketing. PopEater blog is correct in the assertion that this over-the-top approach to using sex is in getting the world clicking. And, no, Reebok is in no way solely responsible for the impact the images of women it creates has on the world. Yet, the fact is that statistic after statistic show women are not taken seriously enough in America to attain equal levels of power and wealth as men.
Does one Reebok Easytone ad make all the difference in the ongoing reality of gender inequality? No. But it does seem to say that the most important thing a woman can do is tone her butt, rather than building a powerful mind. If we keep encouraging the idea (even incrementally through advertising) that being hot is the end-all, be-all for women, men will never stop seeing women as mere playthings, and girls might be discouraged from trying to be more.
I am all for hotness, fitness and being sexy. But what about being in control, independent and cool? There is a way to display these traits while portraying a woman with her own power. Think Madonna. Look at Marylin Monroe, who was one of the first producer-stars in Hollywood history. Or Tina Turner, a woman who grows more sexy and stronger with age, and need I say richer. These Reebok Easytone ads take away all the nuance and complexity of a truly sexy, strong and emancipated woman. For this reason alone, I encourage the women they are trying to reach not to buy. Your time would be better spent building up your total identity, not just your bottom half. Women, let's show these culture creators what real economic empowerment looks like by voting "NO" on Reebok Easytone with our dollars.