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Attention-grabbing Toyota commercial: Redefining the Bikini-Clad Model (Gender Related)

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Buzz About Toyota Ad: Bikini Babe Gender-Bends Our Expectations

It's not the first time a beautiful, bikini-clad model has been used to sell a car. But this one's a little different.
August 26, 2012 |
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This story originally appeared at Salon.

It's not the first time a beautiful, bikini-clad model has been used to sell a car. But this one's a little different.

In a new Japanese Toyota ad, the long-haired 19-year-old Ukrainian Stav Strashko struts toward a car as the camera lovingly follows the model's perfect, red bikini-bottomed butt. A jacket is seductively shed. And then Strashko turns around to reveal - she's a man, baby! Yup, that bare chest is flat, but the bulge in the bikini bottom is not.

It's a novel twist on the old hot chick advertising trope, and while it may have exactly zero to do with why you should buy a car, it has everything to do with the changing way gender is portrayed in advertising. Strashko is the surprise within the ad but, thankfully, he isn't the punch line of it. This isn't some transphobic BS trying to sell the notion of what makes a "real" woman (apparently it's menstrual blood) or some hardy-har-har challenge to distinguish the "stallions from the mares" or a joke about how gender identity is something one whimsically takes on and then regrets . In a making-of clip, Strashko says proudly, "I can't put it in words how excited I am about this commercial and everything I experienced here."

Why is the ad not running in America? No doubt because it would immediately gay indoctrinate all our menfolk and then there would never be any more babies made and Mitt Romney would never become president. Why did Toyota make certain that the comments for the ad were disabled? Um, have you ever read the comments on YouTube? We still have work to be done, people.

Strashko, like fellow androgynous model Andrej Pejic , isn't transgender, isn't doing drag. As he says, "I've never thought about becoming a woman. I feel very comfortable in my own body just the way it is." He represents a new understanding that gender isn't always neatly defined, and that if a man can be alluringly beautiful, that shouldn't be anything to be laughed at or scared of. The jury's out whether that's a concept that can sell Toyotas. But it's definitely an idea worth sharing.

What are your reactions?

by on Aug. 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Replies (11-13):
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Aug. 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting frogbender:

I know! lol That's what got me.

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Great concept.

I can imagine many gasping for air once they realized they where dupped in to thinking they where, once again, looking at a female.  *giggle*


Can you imagine if this commercial played here in the States?  Men would be pissed off because they didn't get to see that hot, naked chick and be crying out about being grossed out.

Some women would be doing the same.  How dare they show 'that' kind of person where my darling little children may see it.

Absolutely fantastic commercial!

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Maya Angelou

tiffyhamm
by Silver Member on Aug. 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I friggin' like this commercial.

wenchmommy381
by Wenchy on Aug. 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I still remember going to a dance club where the hired dancers were men in drag. Drunk guys were all over them until they saw the Adam's Apple or felt a certain something while bumping and grinding. It's a very visceral reaction that I think is just impossible to get past. 

It didn't disturb me, to the point where I actually don't see what the big deal is. 


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