You decide (to puncture a hole in the condoms)!
Desigual, the hip Spanish clothing store where color goes to explode, has just unleashed the most controversial and horrifying Mother's Day ad ever conceived. While a wannabe mom is no stranger to advertisements, a prancing young model stuffing a pillow up her slinky designer dress in public is a new one. But about nine seconds into the quick spot, the woman stops frenetically dancing around to pop music to take out a chain of condoms.
Here's where it gets completely outrageous: model mom starts puncturing each condom with a needle. Yes, a sewing needle. As she does this, she winks and puckers at herself in the mirror, like this is your average clothing store behavior. She then scurries off with a maniacal grin plastered on her face, off to be inseminated by a completely helpless and unwitting dude. She's unstoppable, she's going to be a mom, and she rocks those pastels! "Happy Mother's Day!" the screen says. "Life is sexy!" the ad assures us.
It's unclear of what Desigual hoped to accomplish with such a tone-deaf campaign, besides reassuring their shoppers that even the most certifiably insane baby-hungry woman will look sexy in one of their colorful shifts. What it does achieve, though, is making women look completely desperate and hormone-addled, willing to do anything — including damage a bunch of contraceptives in a retail store — to get her way. The fact that women often get pregnant without a man's consent, to sustain a relationship or realize their dreams of motherhood, is one of the most damaging mythologies out there.
Reasonably, the public perception of the ad has been overwhelmingly negative. "This is fucked up! This is feminism!" one YouTube comment protests. The Barcelona-based Desigual has responded saying they didn't mean to offend anyone with the ad. As the model struts in the mirror, the hashtag #TuDecides, or #YouDecide, flashes on the screen. Desigual claims that the ad was to show support for the protestors of Spain's latest proposed abortion laws, which would only allow abortion in the case of rape or life-threatening health problems. This, of course, ignores the fact that coercing a man into impregnating you is completely different from choosing to have an abortion and sort of belittles the fight of pro-choice activists.
We wanted to "reinforce the message that was featured in all of their campaigns to date: the power of people to make decisions," the firm who produced the ad tells The Local. "This ad represented a call for personal liberation and (for people) to follow their dreams," Desigual adds. "Putting a hole in a condom can be a hymn to motherhood. A symbol, a metaphor. The imagination is free to think of the consequences."
Well, that little hymn to motherhood is also batshit crazy. Desigual, realizing when a joke has flopped, has newly released an edited version of the Mother's Day ad, without the infamous needle prick.