Penelope Cruz + french lingerie = ?

This video is a part of a new ad campaign for the upscale French lingerie company, Agent Provocateur, for their new L’Agent line. The company recruited the beautiful Penelope Cruz to direct this seductive short film, which features her real-life husband, Javier Bardem. In this video, the main male character walks through a house that is experiencing some sort of orgy. Throughout this 6 minute video, the fundamental heteronormative characteristics of advertisements and music videos are present. Besides the obvious fact that there are a myriad of beautiful, thin women hanging around the house in their lingerie, looking sexy and never speaking a word, other elements are also displayed. For example, at 1:32 the man is staring at three underwear-clad women dangling from gymnastics rings, as if they are on display at an exhibit – they are not presented at women but as mere objects to look at. Although there is diversity presented (one woman is black), these women are all thin, exhibiting the Bordo’s idea of the ideal slender female body. At 1:50 and 2:00, two girls in lingerie are eating cupcakes and licking icing off of each other in the kitchen, which depicts the typical male fantasy — girl on girl action. At 2:50, two practically naked girls are touching themselves in an outdoor shower, displaying the typical “wet” female body, another male fantasy. This scene in the house ends at 3:45, when the man in the video is practically hypnotized by a beautiful woman simply whipping her hair back and forth and pressing her breasts onto his face. Not once does she utter a word, but solely uses her body and sexuality. In the end, this whole erotic vision ends up literally being a man’s dream. The alpha male in the video turned out to be a construction worker (typical male role) who passed out on the job and fantasized this titillating orgy.

What do you all think about this ad campaign? It is obviously a very sexualized/aesthetically pleasing lingerie commercial, but does that make any of these problems okay? Is the objectification of women made better or worse because it was written and directed by a woman?

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