Content Note: fatphobic, racist, and sexist marketing
Bottom line: Never buy from Fifi. If you’d actually like a great price-comparative male sleeve from a solid brand, try out the Tenga Air Tech or the Fleshlight Quickshot. As a sex toy, the Fifi sucks anyway.
As much as some companies have tried to move the industry forward in terms of inclusiveness, sex positivism, and body positivism, there are still companies that remind us depressingly of how much further we have to go. Companies, such as the beloved Tantus and SheVibe, have worked hard to create an inclusive environment for sex toy shoppers. Along with sex positive bloggers, we’ve tried to show that sex toys don’t have to belong solely in the realm of white, thin, conventionally modelesque, cis-gender people. Sex toys are awesome for everyone.
Enter Fifi. A company who has tried posting spam comments on several blogs has upped their ante by releasing an ad that really floors me. A large woman is shown in lingerie. The tagline? “When you start to regret the night before. Make the right decision. Fifi.”
Ads like this work to alienate people. When you see how you’ve become a punchline in an ad, you immediately feel like that space, that product, is not meant for you. It’s not safe for you. It doesn’t want you. You’re not worth it. You don’t deserve it.
I want to make this clear: Non-white people deserve sex toys. Trans people deserve sex toys. Queer people/couples deserve sex toys. Sex toys aren’t just for heterosexual couples. Ace people deserve sex toys. Poly folk deserve sex toys. Fat people deserve sex toys. Because, ya know, we’re all people.
The message in this Fifi ad rings loud and clear. Fat people are unlovable. No one could ever want to sleep with a fat person. Fat people are disgusting. You’d better use a sex toy so you don’t accidentally end up with a fat person.
This is unacceptable. It’s 2015. We shouldn’t still be stuck in this place.
And there’s more! An astounding 9 variations of this image, dating back months.
They don’t stop at fat shaming. There’s racism flung in there and they also have the penchant for using underage children to make points about masturbation, which is (at best) creepy. Imposing a sexual context on a child is never okay. Sexualizing children is never okay. Sexualizing children to market your product (a product that involves thrusting your penis into) makes my skin crawl.
Basic obvious rules about marketing your sex toy:
Rule #1: Don’t shame people to market your products.
Rule #2. Don’t use children to market your adult products.
I’m not the only one who’s upset:
— Come Heather (@Come_Heather) November 11, 2015
@dangerouslilly oh yknow, just casually non-con using pictures of children to promote a thing you put your dick in.
— SexBloggess (@sexbloggess) November 11, 2015
HOW ABOUT WE JUST NOT BE SHITTY? How about, you don’t have to be mean to some groups to appeal to other groups? Just. Be. Fucking. Nice. — Girly Juice (@Girly_Juice) November 11, 2015
Fat-shaming in marketing isn’t new. Fifi can’t take credit for its existence in the first place. But they absolutely can and should be held accountable for perpetuating it.
Fifi, I have no idea how it failed to occur to you that this is not okay. This isn’t a minor blunder. This isn’t accidental. This is repeated. This is harmful. This is repulsive.
Get fucked, fifi.
And this sums up why this blogging community is kickass. Dizzygirl originally retweeted this ad, and then a shitstorm began. I screencapped the first ad and tweeted it out, Dangerous Lilly caught wind, and then the whole #blogsquad started to share. That is how we can start to bring about change in this industry.
— dizzy (@dizzygirl812) November 11, 2015
@MissRubyReviews Times like these remind me of just how mighty our community is. The solidarity is uplifting.
— Emmeline Peaches (@EmmelinePeaches) November 11, 2015
Thoughts? Comment below! To follow newer tweets about this subject, check out #DONTGetFiFi
Update Nov 12 2015: Fifi has quietly deleted some of the offending tweets. There has been no public apology. Awful tweets continue to sprout forth.
Update Nov 13 2015: No public apology, but Fifi has taken away their website url from their twitter profile page. More tweets have been deleted, namely all (30+) tweets containing variations of the large-lady-in-lingerie ad and nearly all ads containing depictions of children. Racist ones are still up there. The same goes for their Facebook and Instagram page. This is gaining international attention, with posts in the UK’s Daily Mail, a blog in the Netherlands, Cosmopolitan, Her Campus, and the Daily Dot.
Update Feb 1 2016: Fifi never did end up acknowledging or apologizing for their actions. Move on, folks. Find another product to endorse and support.