Katrina Stokes: Concern over Honey Birdette lingerie shop advertising is just a storm in a D-Cup

NIPPLES. Let’s face it, I have them, my mum has them and you might not actually want to visualise this but your mum’s got them too. So does your sister, aunty and granny. You know, those things which many of us latched onto as babies that provided us the liquid gold of life.


Some people would argue they’re beautiful. But what is certain is they make up our human biology and, even though they’re slightly different, blokes have them as well.


The horribly offensive body part (note my sarcasm) hit the headlines this week after the Advertising Standards Bureau deemed they were inappropriate to appear in a popular international lingerie brand’s advertising campaign. The big problem with the ad? You can see the model’s nipples.


The latest offending ad was banned by the bureau for breaching Section 4 of its Code, deeming the pictures too racy because they exposed minors to “inappropriate marketing” by using “highly sexual images”.


It’s not the first-time Honey Birdette (which has a store in Rundle Mall and Westfield Marion) has attracted unwanted attention for its brand and yet, to me, they’re just boobs.


Previously, the store had an image banned because it showed too much “side cleavage”.

And then earlier this month, in the perfect example of South Australia’s nanny state reputation, similar images displayed outside the brand’s Rundle Mall and Westfield stores were deemed too risqué, with prude shoppers asking them to remove the images immediately.


At the time, there was an uproar from concerned mums and dads, saying the “raunchy” ads were not suitable for kid’s eyes. Adelaide City councillor Phil Martin said the images objectified women.


Despite this, Honey Birdette’s store manager said they had not received any complaints. Yet again, it was another case of South Australia’s wowzer, kneejerk mentally kicking in.


Spend your hard-earned $4 at Henley Beach’s new paid parking meters this summer and you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll spy plenty of bum cheeks and boobs. But that’s apparently OK.


So, why then, is the placement of a slightly sexy ad in Rundle Mall much different? Let’s not forget that women over decades have fought for women’s rights, including sexual liberation.


I agree with Honey Birdette’s creator Eloise Monaghan that the outcry is all a bit ridiculous.


“Are they (people) standing there with a magnifying glass looking for the nipple?” she told The Advertiser.


Parents only need watch pop sensation Taylor Swift’s video for her terrible new song Look What You Made Me Do and I would argue that given her influence, that clip is more disappointing and offensive than these ads.

It depicts the impressionable singer as a dominatrix, wearing scantily-clad leather-look clothes, holding a black whip.


It’s not the girl power message that mums and dads will want their young girls to take inspiration from that’s for sure.


Back to the point that in situations like this, Adelaide is always so Adelaide.


Do you think the cosmopolitan people in Paris or London would get offended from such ads? Walk down Fifth Ave in New York and you’ll spy multiple images of gorgeous women (think Victoria’s Secret) splashed on billboards wearing virtually nothing. Does the majority of society take offence? No.



Like many females, I can appreciate a beautiful women when I see one.


Instead of taking offence, parents should teach their children that we’re all made up of different shapes and sizes — every body is beautiful.


There’s far more pressing items on the agenda confronting females in the 21st Century, like breaking the glass ceiling on age-old issues such as the gender pay gap, that we should spend our time fighting for.


No doubt there are many guys out there — and potentially some females — that for obvious reasons, would love these images.


To me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *