is this dillards ad offensive?

heres the front page …scroll down under the makeup ad to the first sale link …………

after the “hot chick " discussion it bothers me … what says the dope ……… am I overreacting or is” homecoming hottie" an appropriate term for an HS aged girl?

There are situations when women choose to emphasize their physical attractiveness and there’s nothing wrong with that.

What’s wrong is when other people take the choice away from the woman and judge her by her physical attractiveness in a situation where she isn’t looking for that.

It’s not like they are advertising outfits for Supreme Court hotties.

nah, it’s tacky and tasteless.

I’ll agree only if you can come up with an equally good adjective to match “homecoming.”

It’s okay, next month they start the campaign for Vocational Virgin.

When in doubt, take offense.

There’s like 20 offensive things about that if you’re willing to put a little effort into it. Go back and keep looking at it until you come up with more.

They’re not particularly hot, so that’s offensive. But seriously the term would really only start to be offensive if they were candid pix of girls doing not-modeling stuff like just trying to make their way to class through a crowded hallway without someone brushing their tits.

I choose the fact they are all wearing heels. Consider me OFFENDED!

If I saw the ad outside the context of this conversation, I’d think “hotties” was being used to describe the dresses. Dillard’s spends millions on their advertising / branding and I wouldn’t think they’d use that phrasing in that way.

That aside, I do agree it does have a vague ick factor. Not because it’s pointing out the physical attributes of the wearer, but the term “hottie” just has skeevy connotations.

and then it exorts these young girls to “bring the heat”. They are schoolgirls, not hookers. They don’t have to bring heat anywhere…

Agreed. Whether or not their inner desire is to be “hot”, I don’t know that that’s something to be promoted. How about simply another adjective for beautiful that doesn’t have overt sexual undertones.

As humorous as it might feel to make fun of this, there are some real “big questions/issues” involved here, that it would do us all some good to take seriously, instead of writing it off as a stupid question.

  1. Words like “hot” or “sexy” are doing tripple-duty in the vernacular these days. Sometimes they can mean:

[li]This person or thing excites my genitals, and makes me want to have sex.[/li][li]This person or thing is cool, but also is edgy or rebelious/rule-breaking in some way. I’m going to refer to them as sexy not because they literally arouse me, but because their difference (or illusion of difference) is exciting.[/li][li]This person or thing is appealing/attractive. There is no intended connotation of sex or sexual attraction.[/li][/ul]

. . . these meanings cover a lot of ground, and are not always mutually exclusive. Furthermore, people often use the words without thinking much or at all about the different shades of usage, and might not even really know what they mean exactly. And listeners or readers are going to bring their own assumptions.

Is it wrong to advertise clothing to teens using the phrase “homecoming hottie”? Is it wrong to talk about teens as “hotties”? I don’t know if the answer to both of those questions are the same, but they are certainly connected.

  1. Women are in (have always been in?) a struggle to gain agency over and control how they look (or more precisely how they feel about how they look) independently of the male gaze. This is a fraught, complicated and imperfect task, as we’re all living in and are inheritors of a patriarchal society in which good looking and empowering aesthetics for women have generally been connected to the ways in which their looks make men feel (and of course, a part of this is not just about a patriarchy, but is about human social habits and the want for all of us to be liked and wanted by our peers. Which just makes it all even harder to untangle).

Something like a clothing ad, even if it doesn’t have a tag line that used intentionally or unintentionally sexually charged language (see point #1), is going to sit right in the middle of this knot. Wear what makes you feel good! Feeling attractive makes you feel good! But is feeling attractive at least in part conforming to some version of what you imagine will make other people approve of how you look? And how much of what makes you feel attractive comes from unhealthy and dis-empowering social pressures? And so if I feel good about how I look, am I just reinforcing the patriarchy? Am I setting a good example by doing what I want, or a bad example because what I want is shaped by the patriarchy? Is encouraging other women to feel sexy (whatever that means, again, see point #1) a net good or a net evil?

Too often questions of “is this offensive?” are short hand for “unless you can explain exactly what the rules are, and how they apply to this situation and how they also apply to every other possible permutation of this situation, you’re just getting irrationally upset” (note, I’m not accusing the OP of this).

The thing is, there are no rules; we’re trying to draft new rules (well, more like guidelines) right now. And they will likely never be set in stone. But unless you’re open to thinking about all aspects of this complicated series of questions, you’re not ready to enter into the conversation. And, any time you feel like lack of clarity or precision means that there is no value in a position, think again about how insanely complex our human interactions are, and how often (always) good/bad right/wrong fail us as universal guides to behavior.

And, I’ll add that, if you’re a man and are truly interested in a world where women get to shape this stuff for themselves (or even if you think we’re already there and women already have control), then you need to be committed to embracing the ambiguity of living in a space where things are in flux, and where you have less control over where they are going than you used to.

As the father of a 16yo, it is my experience that the girls refer to each other as hotties, so honestly, I don’t really see a problem with this.

This is a wonderful post that deserves so much thought. I wanted to respond just to thank you for posting it.

Very thoughtful and well said. I’d disagree that “hot” ever doesn’t include some shade of sexual connotation, or at least in any context that I can think of at the moment.

I feel like “hot” is following “sexy” in starting out as something sexual, then moving into something closer to just “popular” or “intriguing” (like “the new hotness”), which can then come back around to applying to people in an almost impersonal way. I don’t know that it has exactly happened, but I think it’s happening. So I agree with you though I think it’s changing.

When people said that Tickle Me Elmo was hot, I didn’t take that to mean that they found the doll sexually arousing. Just that it sold well. Hot can just mean “popular” or “trendy.” Usually you can tell by context.

However, “hottie” is always sexual, as far as I know. It may be wanted or unwanted, but it’s about looking sexually attractive. Even when straight girls say it to themselves, it basically means “guys would [or should] find you attractive.”

At least in my opinion.

That’s how I always meant it :confused:

Yes, I think that’s actually what I meant. Of course we’ve all heard “such and such are hot sellers” and things like that but in regards to people, to me there’s a degree of sexiness to it.