Monday, November 14, 2011

Why the new SKINS ad campaign is sexist

What's wrong with this picture? Not a whole lot, you might answer. Think on it for a second, and now look at this one:

(photos are screencaps from the Skins website)

Still confused? I don't have a picture, but apparently the new print ad that accompanies the new women's line, running in magazines like Women's Health and Grazia, highlights our need to "hide our wobbly bits".

Whoa, hold up a minute. Am I buying shapewear - you know, those 'suck it in' undies and slips to smooth all those horrible wobbly bits and make us look more like a "perfect woman" without actually being any healthier - or am I buying performance compression sportswear? (Confession: I own shapewear. Part foolish vanity, partly my propensity to bloat due to food intolerances. However, that's beside the point in this particular case.)

If I were a man, obviously I'd be buying Skins for the improved recovery and purported performance benefits. Since I'm a woman, I obviously don't want or need strength and performance, I simply want to look better.

Actually, I am a woman and I am a runner, and I did buy Skins to improve my recovery times from long runs and tough workouts. Since I DO want strength and performance, I guess I'll be looking for a different brand of compression sportswear to help me meet my goals.


  1. as a marketing decision, they have evidently decided that they can achieve better sales targeting that audience using that imagery, than the one in which you sit. right or wrong, capitalism comes down to the money in the end..

  2. Marketing campaigns aren't always right though - and I'm not even talking ethically right, I mean they can miss the spot - New Coke, anyone? ;) If this is the line they have chosen to take then maybe they failed to see the problem; if people bring it to their attention and they still choose that path, that's fine, I just will exercise my right as a consumer to not buy their products. I would still rather speak up about it than not.

  3. Well said. It's just like how women's sports wear is all pastels and pink and diamantes and other hideousness. Men play sport because they like it. Women "work out" even though they hate it to look good.

    On another note, a good alternative to Skins are 2xu compression gear - I actually like them better.