Recently PETA was in the news following a German court’s decision to uphold a ban on advertisements, used as part of a 2003 campaign, in which suffering animals were compared to Holocaust victims. This grotesque campaign was described as “the most disgusting abuse of the memory of the Holocaust in recent years.” by the late Paul Spiegel, former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
But although PETA is pretty equal-ops when it comes to offensiveness, it is perhaps most often accused of using sexist, even misogynist, images to push its animal rights message. Its latest campaign is particularly egregious, playing on – and preying on – women’s anxieties about body image. Singer Amanda Palmer writes:
this ad is really upsetting.
you’re implying that pubic hair that shows/grows “outside the pantyline” (which is normal/natural for the vast majority of us gals) is “unattractive”….this is the kind of shit Gillette and Nair would pull to hock product, and the sort of cultural beauty-standard malarkey that is contributing to a generally worrying trend…12 and 13 year old girls demanding full bikini waxes and all the shit that I think we can all basically agree is absurd.
Less shocking than the Holocaust trivialisation of 2003, but equally unhelpful.
Hat Tip: Karen Ingala Smith