Well that is a heading I never thought would be possible. But, there you go.
The cycling social media in Australia has gone troppo the past few days after a shop in Melbourne used some ladies sporting pretty much only a pair on knicks that would offer no protection at all, and a smear of paint.
I have seen some chatter about it, but wasn’t all that interested. Then I saw a tweet from Bridie O’Donnell this afternoon. I am a big fan of hers. We have chatted a few times on Twitter, but I doubt she’d know me from the next fat old bloke. This was what she said.
— Bridie O'Donnell (@Bridie_OD) December 7, 2013
So, having just been for a ride, I thought I would give it a look. Here, you can too.
Bridie puts it far better than I could. I retweeted it and got a few interesting replies. Those replies got me thinking. The first thing resulted in this tweet.
Am I there only one who saw the irony in @totalrush a Spcialized dealer, pulling a cheap stunt. 1st cheap thing ever from a Specialized shop
— Todd Norbury (@norbs) December 7, 2013
For those not in the know, Specialized shops usually attach a premium to their prices. It isn’t up to me to say whether this is good or bad, but judging by the amount of their bikes I see around the Shoalhaven, they are doing ok.
The second thing that struck me, and Bridie touches on it, was the women doing it. Sexualising the sport. Good? Bad? I don’t know.
Now the way my feeble thinking box works is by putting myself in the position of these women. What, given the opportunity, would I do?
Now, this is really stretching my powers of imagination. Looks aren’t my strong point. Some quotes used to describe me include “he has a head like a dropped pie”, “a face like a beaten favourite”, “a face like a bashed crab” and on they go. As an apprentice, in my absolute prime as far as looks go, a mates mum described me as “not a handsome man, but he has a happy head”. Talk about a backhanded compliment!
So, you get my point. I am more Buscemi than Clooney.
What would I do if I was asked to bare my bits for money or fame? For me, I think a lot would have to do with the age I was asked, given the highly unlikely event that I held my pretend good looks.
As a brash 20 year old, I reckon I would have had my gear off a second after being asked. As a 30 year old, I probably would have waited for the photo shoot to disrobe. At 40, I would probably have declined the offer. So who am I to judge anyone that does have the opportunity.
But, is it the right way to market a new opening of a retail store? I have my doubts, and if some of the things I have read on Twiiter and FaceBook are any barometer, I am not alone. That said, they have generated so much chatter on social media, probably way more than if they had had a less controversial strategy, that despite the moral dilemna, you’d have to say it worked.
It takes a far greater mind than mine to tear it all apart and make sense of it, but I think more people than the current 136 should take a look at Bridie’s video. Also, for some background, check out Cycling Tips.
Kudos to Bridie.
What are your thoughts?