July 26, 2013
Teddy Bears On Asian Women’s Thighs
An advertising company in Japan is paying women up to $99.50 a day to wear a temporary tattoo on their thigh and walk around Tokyo with their girlfriends in short skirts and knee-high socks.
It’s good money if you can get it.
Though America and other parts of the world are quite accustomed to seeing advertisements at every turn, the Daily Mail claims Tokyo is just silly with promotional material. (I don’t know, I’ve never been.) As a way to stand out amongst the crowd, advertising firm WIT traded giant LCD screens and billboards for the much smaller piece of flesh between a woman’s knee and hip. According to CEO Hidenori Atsumi, the thigh is a great place for an ad, so long as the woman is ok with it.
I’m not sure that’s the only qualification you want to make, Mr. Atsumi.
The Daily Mail claims there are already some 3,000 ladies who are renting out their legs for the cause of pushing Seth McFarlane movies and Green Day albums, and more companies are reportedly looking into using the skinboard as a way to hock their wares on an advertising addled Japanese public.
Not just any lady can slap on a temporary tattoo and start earning money to walk around Tokyo.
The ladies must be at least 18 years old and have at least 20 friends on a social media site.
In other words, ALMOST any lady can walk around Tokyo and earn nearly $100 a day.
The qualifications of 18 and over + 20 or more friends on a social network feel like a pretty low bar to me, but what do I know? I’m not a fan of the movie Ted or the band Green Day, so maybe I’m not the target audience.
“I wouldn’t do this if they put it on my belly or other places I’m embarrassed to expose but if it’s on my chubby thighs then what’s the problem?” said one of the walking commercials, Miho Matsumoto.
There’s some sort of cultural divide going on in that statement that I just don’t know how to unpack.
A friend of mine and I have a common goal.
My friend and I try to make at least $100 a day. Out of courtesy I won’t say how well I fare, only that this is my goal.
My friend and I also enjoy drinking and doing other things with our day besides work.
What I’m saying is, if you know anyone in Japan who can put me in contact with WIT, I’d be much obliged.
There are several angles by which you could read this story. You might see it as a funny example of how stereotypical men are willing to go gaga over a stranger’s thigh. You may see it as insulting and degrading to women, a complete objectification of their bodies in a practice which isn’t too far off from the general principles of prostitution.
You may even read this as an interesting story about new ways companies are finding to push their product.
Me? I’m glad you asked.
Steering clear of some of the finer points in a broader gender debate, I’ll simply say sales has always been a rather impersonal endeavor to me.
I never trust a sales person.
So, using a human body, something pure and organic and real as a billboard cheapens so many things and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
But hey, that’s just me.
Image Credit: iFocus / Shutterstock