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Tom Ford continues to objectify women, be lauded for genius

It seemed unlikely that anything Tom Ford could do at this point would shock us. After being named International Man of the Year by Russian GQ, he graced the cover fully clothed and surrounded by naked women, but that just made us roll our eyes and proclaim that it’s typical Tom Ford…what else would we expect from him? But then we see the photo on the inside cover of the magazine: him (still fully clothed, of course) next to a naked woman who is lying down with perfume fragrance strips sticking out of her derrière

Ford is most notable for his work in the fashion industry, designing for big names such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. He also directed the critically acclaimed film A Single Man, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

In spite of these accomplishments, Tom Ford is also notorious for his controversial ads (one of which occupies the 9th spot in About-Face’s Top Ten Gallery of Offenders) and magazine covers. In 2006, he appeared fully clothed on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine with Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley who, in contrast, happened to be completely nude. It’s important to note that Tom Ford is usually the Artistic Director for most of his photo shoots. It’s his vision and his idea to portray women’s bodies the way he does in his photos.

The “perfume strips in the butt” photo truly takes the cake. What the hell? When I first saw the photo I felt a strange mix of indignation, curiosity, and disgust with a touch of anxiety. Not only is the woman in the photo portrayed as an object in the way she’s posed on the table, but the fact that Tom Ford is sniffing fragrance strips that happen to be sticking out of her butt just makes this photo perverted.

How far is Tom Ford willing to go to provoke the public? How many more women will he objectify in his photos until we put our collective feet down and say “no more”? I don’t know about you, but this photo truly put me over the edge. Though Tom Ford has made many notable accomplishments in the fashion and film industries, my respect for him is completely lost. Perhaps someday he will be able to redeem himself, but something tells me that he simply doesn’t care. Until then, he’ll be known as Tom Ford, the International Man of the Year in 2011, who sniffed fragrance strips that were sticking out of a woman’s butt.

Emily Tran is a Media Studies major at the University of San Francisco who lives and breathes media.

7 thoughts on “Tom Ford continues to objectify women, be lauded for genius

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  1. My take is this: that somehow since the woman is so damn lovely (skinny, white porcelain skin that bear no marks of living or eating or playing etc) that she’s so better. SO much better than her ass isn’t offensive the way a normal person’s would be.

    And if we could just some how manage to look like her, then maybe we wouldn’t be so disgusting either.

    Am I reading too much in to this, or does anyone else get that message, too?

  2. As a woman, I also find fault with the women who agree to these types of photoshoots. Just say NO.

  3. I think that’s the way they would like it read but I don’t see it that way. Her derierre may be less offensive, but only because like the rest of her, it’s “unused”. I think she represents an idealized “woman” instead the messy reality. An imaginary woman who is always submissive,clean, visually attractive, and quiet. How sad to be reduced to a mannequin, no matter how lovely you are. They used strips of perfume for the picture but they may as well have been table napkins. All the beauty and perfume in the world isn’t a fair trade for that indignity. What would we think of men’s bodies used as props and party favors? I think dehumanizing anyone is bad.

  4. I agree with AH…that was my first thought exactly…if those women stop saying yes to making the photos he would not have anybody objectify.

  5. I’m just trying to get over the idea of putting perfume fragrance strips in the girl’s butt. I think he’s saying women aren’t ever person, even this model’s behind will still stink. I would love if John .K. Parodied this with Ren as Tom Ford and Stimpy as the model, with Stimpy having the perfume fragrance strips in his butt, because Stimpy really could use the help.

  6. What I’m getting from that picture is that Tom Ford perfume smells like it’s been in someone’s butt. Going out to buy some right this second, obviously. Brilliant marketing.

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