Poster should not be taken out of context, says Viran Pandya
In our society, it doesn’t take very long to find an example of sex being used to sell products. Just one example is a TV advert for a shampoo that regularly features on prime-time, where a woman washes her hair and makes explicitly orgasmic noises. While the activity of washing hair doesn’t have any direct sexual connotations, it is still the angle that is being used. Sex sells.
We find this reflected within our university. On most walls and notice boards, in halls and common rooms, adverts for campus events are found using sexual imagery in order to attract students.
One particular poster, for the Goodricke event, Rehab, has used the image of a sexy woman in a PVC nurse outfit. For Goodricke college members, the poster was not just stuck on walls, but also posted under doors, so there was essentially no escape.
Not only is the advertisement seedy and sexist, but it has also offended students of the Hull York Medical School (HYMS).
The student nurses have complained that they have to deal with a sexist stereotype as it is, without further stimulus from campus event posters.
The Goodricke posters are clearly sexist. The majority of the time, they only ever use semi-clad women, and rarely men.
I sympathise with the HYMS’ complaints; yet, I have to ask how seriously people really take the stereotypes. Hopefully, people have enough sense to take things in their contexts. If someone had never been to a hospital and seen a real nurse, I would hope that even so they would realise that nurses don’t wear short, tight PVC suits, and 6 inch stiletto heels. The ‘sexy nurse’ is really a party gimmick, just as there are ‘Tarts and Vicars’ parties. Offensive – yes. Do people take them seriously? I sincerely hope not.
Goodricke has been particularly guilty of using sexy images of women on almost every one of this term’s event posters. From the Halloween posters, which used images of sexy witches straddling their broomstick, to the Goodricke ‘Playboy Mansion’ parties, the advertisement executives must ask themselves if it’s really worth it. Campus events this term have notoriously undersold and people are simply not attending; perhaps people are bored of this common advertising ploy being used over and over again.
The fact remains, however: sex sells. But one would hope that the JCR event publicists would come up with more ingenious ways of attracting attention to their parties.