Eizo, a Japanese company also doing business in Europe and around the world, has a new way to sell its medical monitors and imaging devices, with a “pin-up” calendar of skeletal images.
I’m no stranger to sex, or conventionally beautiful women, as sales devices, but I have to say that I don’t think of skeletons as sexy, and I imagine that I’m not alone in this. (I also imagine that some people will find these images very sexy indeed.)
Two things make this interesting to me:
First of all, the viewers (except anyone who is actually attracted to skeletal images) have to be so familiar with conventionally sexy poses that they can automatically “dress” the images with skin and hair and smiles. Of course, this is a lot easier because we have such predetermined senses of what color that skin should be, how smooth it is, what the hair should look like, what an advertising version of an inviting smile is.
Second, even in the realm of medical imaging, satisfying the stereotypical male gaze is more important than demonstrating the product. For medical purposes, these images would be just as useful (and perhaps more useful) if they represented a variety of sizes, shapes, ages, and sexes. (Since the way they’re done allows us to see the skin lines, it seems pretty clear that this is either one model, or several similar-looking tall, thin women. Assuming the model or models are young, they’re also in a demographic statistically less likely to need the kind of imaging work being sold here.) But the calendar isn’t a medical tool, it’s a sales tool; they want their customers to remember Eizo’s name and, in time-honored fashion, they’ve done that by associating their name with sex.
I wonder if it’s working for them.
(Thanks to Sociological Images for finding this one.)