Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And The Irking By Visuals Continues

As a former tools developer at Nokia, I had a developer id. Since I knew my involvement with mobile would not stop once I left Nokia, I entered my personal email as part of that id. Which is why this morning I found this:

Calling All Innovators!

Nokia is pleased to launch the Mobile Rules! Competition, the leading annual competition for mobile applications and business plans. The goal of this effort is to bring together the most innovative thinking on applications, services and business models. Business managers, entrepreneurs, developers and creative professionals can benefit from this engagement and will have a chance to get products and services into the hands of millions of Nokia device users, operators, integrators, and enterprises. Act now to be part of this exciting innovation. Here's how The Mobile Rules! Competition works:

Track 1:

Mobile Applications categories:

* Multiplayer/Connected Games
* Multimedia
* Enterprise
* Infotainment

We are looking for new applications etc whatever [...]

I presume this graphic will be taken off the ad-server soon, so we will not longer see the image of some young guy with slicked hair and sunglasses in a limo with two women styled and posed as lifestyle sexual accessories next to him, one holding a phone to his ear. And it just frickin bothers me. It so normative of gender roles (guy == winner, chick == spoils of competition), so crass about consumerism, does not project a professional image, not welcoming to women innovators and entrepreneurs in my opinion, and all of it completely unnecessary.

There are many reasons I would work for Nokia again in a heartbeat, and one of them is that I could resurrect my internal blog and post this there and maybe get it noticed, or hit the internal HR / Employees forum with it and get this noticed. I hope someone does. I am sure then there will be responses that it was meant as fun and the poster should not feel so easily slighted and something about feminists ruining everything and how most of the competitors will be men anyway so what is the big deal anyway, but I'd still go ahead. This is not a respectful image.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Remake Us

There's something about this level of retouching that so disgusts me. I know personally from a stylist that retouching, either mechanical in the old days, or Photoshop now, has always happened for covers, but this reworking of the body shape seems to be getting more extreme.

Professional models don't get covers anymore. The supermodel craze has died out, and it turns out models don't sell covers anymore, but celebrities do. Check the covers of Elle and Cosmo, where they used to feature Naomi and Linda even before they became household names, now they put Kelly Clarckson and Anne Hathaway because the magazines noticed an uptick in newsstand sales when the face was relatable and familiar. Except now that the magazines no longer hire professional genetic outliers to model, they feel the need to turn these otherwise-gifted women, already under a microscope to be prettier than the rest, into genetic outliers again with slender arms and no wrinkles. Enter electronics.

"Men's Fitness" recently got busted doing the same to their cover celebrity, Andy Roddick. Somehow being a really talented tennis player with a professionally trained fit body was not simply not good enough. Which actually does say a lot for the standards "Men's Fitness" and "RedBook" are trying to set: Already Attractive and Managed Aging Is Not Good Enough. Exquisitely Trained Professional Athlete Is Not Good Enough. Being normal must really suck then.