Majorska’s Silent (Sales)Woman

Majorska Premium Vodka bus ad

This piece starts off as a conventional alcoholic beverage ad in that a shapely — and for all practical purposes unclad — woman is displayed in close proximity to a liquor bottle. The similarity of the auburn hair of the model to the scarlet curtains framing the label further associates her with the product.

The red border of the entire poster suggests that this is a traditional Russian brand. The background includes orange and yellow and the letters give the appearance of black and white stripes. These are nature’s colors and patterns for demanding attention, often to warn that the bearer is poisonous as with the coral snake or the lion fish.

What’s particularly unnerving about the image is that the young lady’s head and legs are cut off, excising personality from sexuality. Is this just to focus attention on the charms barely contained by a bikini? In English pub signs similar “silent woman” images are not uncommon. At the very least, some simmering hatred of women is required to appreciate this motif.

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Hoboken PATH 2005 Michelob faceless woman ad

In 2005, Anheuser-Busch installed a similar “silent woman” image on the floor of the Hoboken NJ PATH subway station. Because of the nature of the graphic and that commuters were compelled to walk on the picture of the woman’s body, activists demanded the ad’s removal.

People walking on Hoboken PATH 2005 faceless woman ad