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Letter to Portmans in Australia

Portmans (chain of clothing stores for young women)

I am writing to express my disgust at the current Portman’s advertising campaign which is depicting degrading images of women. The Portman’s sale posters portray a naked woman bound from head to foot by sale tape. While obviously intending to be amusing, this depiction is disturbingly reminiscent of violent acts against women.

I am disturbed that Portman’s are targeting these images at young women who are very susceptible to media suggestion about body image and behaviour. Unlike previous advertising attempts to show images of empowered young women, the current posters show instead a woman who is helpless, silenced by the gag across her mouth, and unable to move.

Not only is this image unsettling, I am troubled that Westfield Shopping Town – who ostensibly strive to create a comfortable, family-friendly shopping atmosphere – is allowing its advertising space to be used in this way.

As a young professional woman with money to spend, I can assure you I will be boycotting Portman’s in the future and encouraging other young women to do the same. Additionally, if Westfield continues to sponsor and support these degrading images of women I will take my business elsewhere.

Yours sincerely,

Dr J. Webster