View Full Version : 'Be Beautiful & Vote' Campaign...Degrading for Women?

04-26-2009, 07:01 PM
I thought this was an interesting article. Before people go crazy that this is a Middle Eastern country and the things are in French...Lebanon is 45% Christian & French and Arabic are both official languages. Ladies, what's your opinion?

'Be beautiful and vote', the worst campaign flop in Lebanon
France24 (http://observers.france24.com/en/content/20090424-be-beautiful-vote-worst-campaign-flop-lebanon-parliamentary-elections-)


Six weeks before the Lebanese parliamentary elections, this campaign was meant to attract women voters. It didn't.

The ‘Be beautiful and vote' campaign was launched on television and posters around the country by the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), an opposition Christian party directed by General Aoun, before a key vote on June 7.

"I found [the slogan] degrading for women"

Katia (not her real name) is a journalist in Lebanon. She posted a parody of the campaign, "Be animal and vote", on the Web.

[snip] I found it insults and belittles women. At first I thought the whole thing was a hoax! But when I saw the posters with my own eyes I realised they were serious. And I thought I had seen the worst of mediocre campaigns.

"Be animal and vote" was a way of reminding readers that too often, beautiful women are considered stupid, sheep-like creatures, whose opinion doesn't count. My slogan clarifies the ads underlying misogyny, and warns women, if there are any, who may identify themselves with this stereotype, to realise they're being considered as no better than cattle.

The problem is that these parties have no real platform, so they use primary emotions to get people to vote. Here, they're trying to associate their brand name to beautiful women.

I see it as a serious marketing error which would have happened to any party."


"We may have to remove the campaign if people get the wrong message"

Bernard Mikael is the spokesperson of the FPM in France.

We realise that people are getting the wrong message. That's why our bureau in France has decided not to publish the campaign posters for now. Our message is very positive though! We live in an oriental country where women unfortunately aren't given role they should be. When it comes to voting, she too often follows her husband's choice.

In our ad, the woman lives alone, and goes to vote on her own for the candidate of her choice. That's what we want for Lebanese women, what we wanted to promote with "Be beautiful and vote".

A greater role for women in the political arena is part of the FPM's platform. In our charter, we clearly state our "conviction that men and women have equal rights and obligations, women being essential partners in all social and decision-making processes". We work in close association with several women's rights groups.