Wednesday, November 09, 2005

'Baby soft skin'

Some cosmetics company or another is advertising its chemical-filled glorified moisturiser with a large picture of a grown woman sucking her thumb with the caption 'So that's what baby soft skin is like!' on the tube.

'Baby soft skin' is lauded as the attractive skin women want to have, and will have, through use of the advertised product. On the poster, baby soft skin turns the woman into a baby, sucking her thumb. Yet the pose is rather sexualised, as she is apparently naked, with her arms appropriately placed across her breasts, concealing what by law must be concealed, yet revealing her cleavage, and she is gazing coyly up at the viewer. Digit sucking, according to Sheila Jeffreys (in Beauty and Misogyny), is also a visual staple of pornography. Sexualised woman as baby- the web of associations is worrying, and the idea that it is desirable that a woman should be reduced to an infantile state, and that that infantile state is attractive is revolting.

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