Reebok Russia’s Ad : Sit On A Man’s Face (2019)


Reebok Russia did an ad campaign that was seeking to send an empowering feminist message. These types of marketing campaigns are not designed to promote women’s rights or equality. The objective is just to sell products. Corporations do not care about the environment, rights, or business ethics. Seeing as there has been a trend of girl power sweeping across media companies capitalize on this. Similar to the sudden focus on diversity, yet there is no substantive policies to challenge discrimination. Sadly, the public falls for these obvious attempts to hide the more sinister aspects of business. The Russia Reebok ad probably fooled many feminists. Released on Instagram and Twitter in 2019, it was pulled shortly after. What does a strong woman do to smash the patriarchy? Simple, just sit on a man’s face. Apparently the people who made this ad did not realize that is a sexual fetish. Reebok was a company founded in 1895. Established in England by Joseph William Foster. The brand would not be licensed in the US until 1979.

The parent company is Adidas, which is Europe’s largest sportswear manufacturer . The biggest competitor to Adidas is Nike. Competition between multinational corporations is tough and marketing makes the difference. A commercial needs to be either memorable or have a famous athlete endorsing a product. The Russia Reebok ad went with a more outrageous angle. Either someone did this intentionally or was so unaware of what facesitting is.

Facesitting is the act of a person placing themselves on a person’s face. This sexual fetish can be related to others, but classified as it own category. Traditionally, the posterior has been seen as a beauty mark for women. Pygophilia refers to the sexual arousal from the gluteus maximus. Partialism refers to sexual focus on a specific body part. This could range from the legs, face, or even the arms. There is little explanation for why fixation on certain body parts exist. It may have to do with how sex selection operates.

Facesitting is a fetish and apparently Reebok did not know this. The ad was pulled when people pointed this out online.

Certain traits that are sexually dimorphic could be an indication of fertility. Women’s body shape and features may be an indication of this. This is just a theory. Sexology has to acquire more knowledge about why men and women have particular fetishes. To those who are knowledgeable about them this ad was both hilarious and something to remember. Relevant to the fitness subculture, there are a group of men who really admire the female figure. Those who are familiar with the female bodybuilding subculture know that session wrestling is a part of it. Facesitting can be a part of muscle worship. This branches off into other fetishes. Occasionally, there are references to them in mainstream mediums. It can be so subtle that only a few people notice.

There’s men who would like women to sit on their face. It is unknown how many men have such fetishes.

Sometimes it can be possible to imagine certain things. A person may think they see a fetish in a film, tv, or other media. However, it may just be a desire of the viewer imagining something. The Reebok commercial is so blatantly obvious.

When corporations embrace an idea it is not for altruistic reasons. The purpose is merely to rebrand or make more profits. Companies will say they will embrace inclusion, gender equality, diversity, and fighting climate change. No corporation cares about any of this. There are concepts and words used to for the sake of public relations. Structurally, these institutions do not change. By doing this, customers will not turn on a corporation for unethical behavior. Reebok wants people to buy shoes and sportswear, not empower women.

The sex sells concept has been a tool to get men to buy certain products.

Looking “progressive” is in vogue so corporations capitalize on this. The irony is that they exploit labor from the global south by outsourcing . Shoes and sportswear could be produced by sweatshop like conditions or child labor. Labor exploitation is not progressive and neither is business. Buying a certain product is not empowerment for women. This is just another means of neoliberal capitalism expanding a body of consumers.

It seems as if anything can be considered women’s empowerment in this era. A woman can simply get out of bed and it is celebrated. Women doing any activity should not be classified as empowerment. That just makes it less impactful. Meaningful empowerment does not come from the products a woman buys. Many feminists have embraced a simple notion of empowerment. In their mind a woman sitting on a man’s face might be empowering. To others this is just too frivolous. Inserting girl power or women’s empowerment into commercials is really not advancing women. The counter argument is that women are at least given more visibility in entertainment. When it comes to sports and fitness women do get lower amounts of exposure. A shift has occurred with female athletes being featured in advertisement. Female athletes and female fitness enthusiasts are now demographic target for marketing. The Reebok Russia ad was directed at women, but presented itself in a bizarre way. Looking at it seems like a man presenting a sexual fantasy hidden behind a message of empowerment. An observer can also come to other conclusions.

The ad might suggest a version of female power fantasy. The male power fantasy is understood, but rarely is this explored with women. The phrases used in the ad were ” switch seats from man’s approval to a man’s face.” The point that developers behind the ad was that women should not be restricted in traditional norms of femininity. A woman can be athletic and feminine . The female power fantasy here is shown as women having physical domination over men.

Commercials and advertisements sometimes tap into a consumers hidden desires. This is why power fantasies are common in them.

The Reebok ad could have easily replaced sit on a man’s face with a wrestling move. Headscissor a man or headlock him would have the same effect. Female power fantasy for some women could be having more physical prowess than any man. This is only a speculative explanation. The person behind the Reebok ad was director Alexander Golofast. The point he was trying to get across is ambiguous. The ad was not the most offensive media in the world. As a result of the controversy, he resigned. The intention of the “Be More Human Campaign” was to celebrate strong women according to Reebok. The ad may have caused criticism in Russia, but in the US it might have been different. Attitudes about sex and women’s bodies vary from culture to culture. The ad is not the most lascivious . More so, it is a comedic presentation.

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