Fluid, a hair salon in Edmonton, Canada, has earned a reputation for being edgy and pushing boundaries. One of the ways it’s accomplished this is by running ads depicting a woman in an abusive relationship sporting a black eye (with really fun hair!). And guess what’s even edgier? Refusing to apologize for that ad when people complain that it’s offensive.
People in and out of Edmonton are furious that the ad uses such a serious problem as a shock tactic — a Canadian government official correctly told The Edmonton Sun that the ad “glamorizes” domestic abuse. But to hear the people at Fluid tell it, the ad isn’t objectionable at all. It’s just a response to how touchy feely people are these days.
“It might strike a chord, but as the way our society and community is getting, we keep tailoring everything because everyone is getting so sensitive,” said [Fluid owner Sarah] Cameron.
“Anyone who has a connection or a story behind anything can be upset or have an opinion. We are not trying to attack anyone.”
But that doesn’t mean women aren’t getting attacked to begin with. Even though the general crime rate across our great Northern neighbor tends to be decreasing, violence against women in Canada is still prevalent. The Canadian Women’s Foundation claims that half of all women in that country experience some kind of violence or sexual abuse by the time they’re 16 years old.
It would be an uncomfortable subject anywhere in the world, but Cameron’s cavalier attitude to the problem only makes it worse. We would have given her the benefit of the doubt and said maybe, just maybe she was trying to raise awareness, but she’s already gone on the record to dash that idea. Then there’s the ad itself, which encourages women to “Look good in everything you do.” Including their abusive relationships.
What’s even more damning for Cameron is that her past advertising glamorizes other serious problems with the same haughty attitude toward their real impacts. One ad features a homeless woman sitting on the side of the road, while another uses last year’s tragic oil spill as a creative motif. We’ve included those for your cathartic shock below.
No one has made a formal complaint about the ads yet, but we’re hoping some brave Candian will speak up soon. Freedom of speech is one thing; using the personal torture of literally hundreds of thousands of your countrymen as a point of your business plan is quite another.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.