If you have driven on Route 30 east between Target and Wal-Mart
recently, you have probably seen the billboard advertisement for
Beeghly and Company Jewelers. It features an apprehensive woman
holding a diamond necklace with the accompanying text, “Come and Get
It.” Some members of the Feminist Collective find this ad offensive and
dehumanizing to women and plan to do something about it.
By Stephanie Isacco,
If you have driven on Route 30 east between Target and Wal-Mart recently, you have probably seen the billboard advertisement for Beeghly and Company Jewelers. It features an apprehensive woman holding a diamond necklace with the accompanying text, “Come and Get It.” Some members of the Feminist Collective find this ad offensive and dehumanizing to women and plan to do something about it.
Sarah Slates, a member of the Feminist Collective said, “I feel that this advertisement is inadvertently promoting a sort of violent sexuality. It’s scary, and sad at the same time that someone would use an ad like this to boost sales.”
There are many ideas that come to mind about what the advertisers may have been thinking, such as: a man can get what he wants from a woman by buying her jewelry, a woman can buy herself jewelry to appeal to men, or even that the headline is directly meant for the woman and not the diamond, but is the intended message for people to buy jewelry from Beeghly and Company Jewelers being met? Definitely not.
There is no question that the advertisement is portraying women in a submissive light with the positioning of the woman’s arm protecting herself and the look of fear on her face, she also appears to be biting her lip. The body language shows that any sexual reference being made is not consensual. It is dangerous to display this type of message promoting domestic and sexual violence.
“I’ve talked with the owners of the store, and I know that in no way did they intend to send this sort of message to consumers. I think that almost makes the situation worse. They don’t even know what kind of messages they’re sending,” said Slates. Amy and Brian Beeghly, the owners of the company, have been polite in their correspondence with the members of the Feminist Collective, but they have no intention of removing the advertisement.
“We apologize if we offended anyone, and that was not our intent,” said Brian Beeghly. His wife, Amy, arranges the advertising program and then it is run through a national advertiser. They had planned to run the billboard through January and that time frame will stay. The company would like to speak with the Feminist Collective and include them in future advertising selections that feature women so this problem does not happen again.
Society is so desensitized to sexual references from every media outlet that over-stepping the bounds of appropriate is commonplace. Beeghly and Company is supposed to be appealing to the customer, and when the customer finds something offensive, the objective of the advertisement was not met.
The fact that the message was unintentional speaks volumes in this incident. Beeghly also stated that he could see where the concerns were coming from but thought it was a “far stretch” to label it as promoting violent sexuality.
“The problem isn’t that they’re using sex to sell their product, it’s that the sex they’re implying does not appear to be consensual due to the text of ‘come and get it’ in combination with her startled expression,” said Kayla Sawyer, a member of the Feminist Collective and news editor of the Setonian. “And since the focus is obviously not on the jewelry, there’s also the dehumanizing element of referring to the woman pictured as an ‘it’. I just think there are better and less creepy ways to advertise a product.”
Anyone interested in protesting the billboard, not just for themselves, but for all women, and to draw the attention of the community to the offensive nature of the billboard, can contact Slates at firstname.lastname@example.org.