A German alcohol company lowers the bar on terrible sexist ideas
by Imran Siddiquee
The world of alcohol advertising isn’t exactly known for its awesome representations of women. Nearly every major alcohol brand you can think of has done something offensive to women in the past. In fact, it’s much harder to find a positive portrayal of women in booze ads than it is to find something truly horrific.
So how might a fledgling German alcohol company break into this highly competitive market? Perhaps with something different – an unexpectedly realistic and positive appeal to female drinkers? Something that didn’t treat women like wall decorations in a bar?
“G-Spirits is promising customers that “every drop” of its line of alcoholic beverages has been poured on the naked breasts of a certified model — with her approval, of course.”
Or you could do that.
My first reaction after reading this in the New York Daily News yesterday? Honestly I was kinda grossed out – just from a hygienic perspective. Are showers required prior to bottling? Because some of the pictured women look like they are sweating, profusely.
But don’t worry, the company cares about making sure you don’t contract any diseases while drinking their $180 bottle of human sweat.
“We pay high attention to a hygienic filling process; furthermore, medical personnel are present to check it”
Also, if imagining what it might look like for women to pour liquor on their bodies doesn’t satisfy you, the company includes nude pictures of said women as well. (Just to prove that this drink did touch people’s bodies prior to you drinking it – and that they are deadly serious about the idea of demeaning women and turning them into objects.) The women in these pictures literally become tools used in the process of alcohol bottling.
Not surprisingly, the taste of the drink is irrelevant to G-Spirits founders – former bartenders Max and Julian Goldbach – because what they really care about is turning you on. (Naturally, they went into the alcohol business to accomplish this.) From their mission statement:
“It’s not just the taste which makes you enjoy a drink fully. Good flavour is the basis, the conveying feeling, the highlight. However, for us there is nothing more than the erotism of a beautiful woman. “
Translation: there’s a strong chance that these drinks actually taste like pure gasoline, or are pure gasoline.
Also, they want to make it clear that not just any woman has covered herself in the liquor and that they are really precise about where they pour this stuff:
…we let every single drop of our spirits run over the breasts of a special type of woman, a type we recognize in this liquor.
The pictures further identify what this “type” looks like.
Though we can laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of this concept, G-Spirits is most troubling because we recognize it as just another demeaning ad campaign featuring women – a product of the larger pornification of mainstream culture around the world. Though their website is extreme and NSFW, the concept is not far removed from those Carl’s Jr. commercials which want hamburgers to arouse you while you’re watching The Office. Or the fact that GoDaddy, during the Super Bowl, sells us Internet domains by implying that they are somehow connected to half-naked women.
The female body can be and is used to sell just about anything today. And it’s always a particular “type” of representation of the body – one that perpetuates a hyper-sexualized and limiting ideal of beauty for women.
We could ignore this kind of misogyny and just hope that folks catch on to the ickiness of G-Spirits’ business model. But the press has already started to pick up the story, so it feels important that we make our voices heard on the subject – that we try and flood the conversation. Click the button below to tweet @GSpirits1 and publicly let them know that you’re absolutely #NotBuyingIt. (And feel free to mention how gross their idea is as well.)
Imran is the Social Media and Communications Manager at MissRepresentation.org. Follow him on Twitter @imransiddiquee