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It struck a chord to hear Esquire editor, Alex Bilmes, refer to women as pure “ornamental,” and “objects” to his racy hetero male magazine. Bilmes was frighteningly comfortable enough in his sexist position to openly associate women as “ornaments” to be “objectified.”

The editor of the trendy Mens magazine admitted: “We use pretty girls in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars.”

You read correctly, he linked us to cars (i.e. consumer goods).

This past Tuesday, at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London, Bilmes joined a panel [of women] to discuss the topic of feminism in the media and advertising.

“I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified. Men see women in 3D in many different roles in life but at certain times, we like to see them sexy.”

This is another prime example of when someone’s “real” goes wrong.

Nobody granted you the green light to openly eulogize female objectification at jest, Sir. There is no douche-bag pass provided for condoning or boasting on this matter, Mr. Sexist.

Perhaps you don’t care about the women that pick up your illustrations. Maybe the fact that I enjoy the quality writing style of male magazines is not useful or moving to you. I may not make up the larger percent of your readers, but as a consumer, and more so a woman, this doesn’t sit well with me.

Every raunchy cover feature with a woman bent over in a racy bikini in fact depicts objectification to some degree. Yes, you aren’t the ONLY magazine to exploit or cater to the “male gaze.” But your pretentious and nonchalant demeanor has stained me with an ill feeling that I am supporting the corrupted mind frame of a brand that proudly and fully contributes to female objectification. And for that, you’ve lost one.

During the conference, Bilmes stated that Esquire is far more honest and less rigid in their portrayal of women in comparison to their competitors: “We’re at least, or possibly more, ethnically diverse [than other magazines]. More shape-diverse. We also have older women. Not really old, but in their 40s… Cameron Diaz was on the cover three issues ago. She’s in her 40s.”

More shape diverse? I’m alleging this goes for sizes 0-4; and kudos on being an ageist as well!

The man clearly escaped from a Benny Hill sketch. According to Bilmes, men are not racing to his magazine in hopes of reading about a woman’s political view on the fiscal crisis or budgeting; we are simply the bait to a product.

In case Bilmes is either unconcerned that feminists are probably aligning battle formation outside of the Esquire offices in London, or failed to be consciousness to the ongoing issue at hand, the topic of female objectification or exploitation is not to shouted from the rooftops. Reality chicks and video models can’t wear a midriff tee or lick their lips without us questioning if it is bad representation of the whole. The battle is not over, Mr. Sexist, so we can’t let you walk away comfortably knowing you broadcasted your narrow-minded outlook and casted your corrupted sense of “realness,” onto your readers and in doing so, pushed many of them away.

I can only hope that the Cameron Diaz’s and Drew Barrymores of the world form a reaction and stand.

Watch the video for yourself here.

What are your thoughts on Alex Bilmes’ comments?

 

-Nikki B.

  • Blaque217

    Most men and some women are very visual. They are attracted, at least initially, to what they see, not what they hear. And when you have female celebrities like Rihanna who love posing in various stages of undress, it only reaffirms Bilmes’ statements.
    Look, at least the man is being honest…he’s telling HIS truth. Perhaps not all men feel this way, but this is what he believes and he is standing by his statements. I for one can’t be mad at that.

    • The Moon in the Sky

      People are visual. Men are not any more visual than women.

    • Craig

      B.S. You have 5 senses. The point to be made is that when it comes to sexual attraction, men are almost entirely visual and ugly feminists should just get the fuck over it.

  • Pingback: Esquire Magazine Editor Alex Bilmes: Women Are “Ornamental” | Celebrity News & Style for Black Women()

  • http://gravatar.com/nick1110 nick1110

    Alex Bilmes is right to be comfortable with his position because his position aligns with science. As long as there is sexual reproduction (as opposed to asexual reproduction) there will be parameters for choosing mates, parameters we didn’t choose — rather, we were born with them. That’s the way it is, and it’s time to stop demonizing men for it. Nikki B. displays extreme ignorance to thousands of years of evolution. She isn’t going to change biology. She isn’t going to change knee-jerk reactions and judgments. It’s not possible. When a man meets a woman — be it at work, at a restaurant, on the street — I promise you the first thing he thinks is “is she attractive/would I want to have sex with her.” That’s how it goes, and it’s not his fault. It shouldn’t even be called a “fault,” anymore than salty and sweet things taste good. It’s all programmed into us for survival. A man on a first date would be LYING if he said he didn’t want to have sex with his date ASAP. I encourage you all to study human nature and the mind and stop urging people to change what they can’t.

    • Craig

      Nailed it. Couldn’t have put it better.

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