Most stores use their storefront windows to display common gift idea during the Christmas season. Perhaps nothing is more common than men buying lingerie for their wives and wives buying suits for their husbands. So, London’s Marks & Spencer likely didn’t think anything of their ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ display that showcased snazzy business suits for men and lingerie for women.
The store quickly learned that their traditional approach in advertising was no longer acceptable in today’s overly sensitive and often preposterously politically correct climate. The window was vandalized by an outraged feminist who covered part of the original advertising that suggested women want lingerie with the words ‘full human rights’.
According to The Guardian, the original Christmas display showed images of the model David Gandy wearing M&S suits with the tagline “must-have outfits to impress” adjacent to red and black lingerie behind the tagline “must-have fancy little knickers”.
After it was criticized as “grotesque” and “vomit-inducing”, the display was covered up. M&S claimed the display had been taken out of context from its Christmas campaign.
It said: “We’ve highlighted one combination in our windows, which are part of a wider campaign that features a large variety of must-have Christmas moments, from David Gandy washing up in an M&S suit through to families snuggling up in our matching PJs.”
The Facebook group Feminist Friends Nottingham received an outpouring of complaints from several women shoppers, The Daily Wire reported:
“Ok, M&S Nottingham, have we really not learned anything in the last 35 years? Or am I alone in finding this, their major window display, completely vomit inducing?” said shopper Fran Bailey, who chastised the ad for both “normalization of damaging gender stereotypes through the juxtaposition of images of women apparently obsessed with ‘fancy little knickers’ with images of fully clothed men being ‘dressed to impress’ in suits,” and also the slogan “must-have” when “huge numbers of Britons are struggling with poverty.”
“I think M&S using such a strapline is just really crass when so many are without the necessities of warmth, shelter and food,” she said. “The problem is that we’re so browbeaten by this sort of imagery that we don’t even recognize what it is anymore. It’s pandering to notions of gender that are so outdated that it’s unbelievable that it’s still being spouted out. I’m disgusted because I’d have thought that M&S was a grown-up store that knew better. I know M&S is not the worst offender by any means but this particular juxtaposition is just grotesque.”
So, the display is insensitive because the product costs money, sexist for suggesting lingerie as a gift for women and damaging for displaying gender-specific clothing? What a world. Let us know what you think in the comments below.