Oct 262012
 


From Tanos’ blog:

…Lush, the high street retailer of bath bombs etc, ran a campaign in many of their shop windows involving people in cages or dressed as animals to highlight animal testing of cosmetics. In their Regent Street shop they put on a performance lasting several hours in which a body-stocking naked actress was tortured by a man in a white coat. Not surprisingly, the coverage of this got some BDSM attention.

Much like PETA (discussed previously), Lush stages a scenario of a (white, young, attractive) woman being captured and mistreated to illustrate what happens to animals in cosmetics testing.This technique has a long history going back to abolitionism, and it’s always danced on the edge of exploitation and pornography. As a corporate entity, Lush’s motives in deploying these kinds of images are even more suspect that PETA’s. The animal rights group seems to be chasing publicity for its own sake with these stunts, while Lush is apparently operating on the “any publicity is good publicity” theory. Have they considered that women might be turned off by comparing them to animals? It also doesn’t necessarily follow that people should be treated in the same way as animals.

Woman in body stocking being gagged by man in surgical mask and gown

Ironically, there’s another intersection of the sadomasochistic and animal rights discourses.

Looking at the stills and video made me curious about the source of the gag. It turns out to be the Asylum “Hook Claw Mouth Spreader” from Topco Sales in the US.

Nonetheless, there seem to be people who believe that something is only really bad when it happens to a young, white woman, a harkening back to sensibility theory and the idea that young women felt more acutely than other beings.

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