Show Stigma The Finger from Hot Octopuss unites the nation to tackle homophobia, ageism, ableism, colorism, body shaming and transphobia Real women unite in Hot Octopuss’ Show Stigma The Finger campaign | Photo credit: Aleksandra Karpowicz Six women, with no previous modeling experience are the new faces of Show Stigma The Finger, a powerful campaign […]
Sticking it to stigma: Banned ad campaign tackling sexual stigmas goes live in New York and online
Hot Octopuss launches the Show Stigma The Finger campaign, starring six activists wearing nothing but the middle finger
A banned ad campaign shining light on stigmas standing in the way of women achieving sexual fulfillment goes live today. Six defiant activists shed their clothes to front the campaign Show Stigma The Finger and flick the middle finger to personal prejudices they have each overcome; including racism, transphobia, body shaming and homophobia.
Spearheaded by inclusive sex toy company, Hot Octopuss, Show Stigma The Finger was designed to be displayed across the Big Apple but was banned by numerous media buyers, deemed “too inappropriate.” Despite falling foul of regulations, the company rallied support from local New York street artists to bring the campaign to life at one location in Manhattan and online. It hopes to highlight and break down prejudices and phobias standing in the way of women achieving healthy and happy sex lives – a mission the brand has fought tirelessly to achieve since 2011.
Julia Margo, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Hot Octopuss, says:
“‘No’ wasn’t an acceptable answer for this one. When we were told the ads were too inappropriate, we knew we had a duty to make sure the world saw it. The stars of the campaign are giving a fearless F-you to years of stereotypes that society has placed upon them. They’re standing up for anyone who’s ever been told they are too big, too old or not pretty enough to enjoy sex. It’s our responsibility to make sure these voices are not silenced, so we are going ahead with the campaign despite what the authorities say.”
Show Stigma The Finger can be viewed in Downtown Manhattan, New York, and online. Its launch coincides with the release of Hot Octopuss’ latest offering — the DiGiT — a gender neutral finger sex toy that demonstrates just how powerful a single finger can be.
The company collaborated with world-renowned multi-disciplinary artist, Aleksandra Karpowicz to execute Show Stigma The Finger. Spearheading the campaign’s casting process, Karpowicz was overwhelmed with the influx of advocates. In the end six women were selected from the hundreds who came forward to join the movement against stigma. Of the masses, Emelle (31), Lori (56), Mary (50), Raj (52), Sophia (34) and Victoria (33) are the faces behind the fingers; rebelling against homophobia, ageism, ableism, colorism, body shaming and transphobia, respectively.
Aleksandra Karpowicz, Lead Campaign Artist, says:
“Human diversity is the basis for my art and I aim to create narratives where people feel liberated enough to reveal their deepest selves. While I was disappointed to hear that Show Stigma The Finger had been banned, I was not surprised; my art is censored on a regular basis. The image of a female body is often restricted which has a number of negative consequences.
“I’m so glad Hot Octopuss did not concede, as the message of this campaign is too important to give into conservative societal pressure. I will continue working with nudity and will do my best to ensure my art contributes to fighting for the acceptance of a human body as something natural.”
Those inspired by the Show Stigma The Finger campaign are encouraged to join the movement online and give the finger to unfair fights with stereotypes, stigmas and prejudices they may have endured via the hashtag #ShowStigmaTheFinger on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. The campaign will live at 1st Park, off Houston Street in Downtown Manhattan until the end of the year.
“There’s never been a campaign that so brazenly reveals sexual stigmas women face every day. At the same time, we’re proud to unveil our most exciting toy yet, which mirrors the relentlessness of our activists — the DiGiT. This revolutionary finger toy gifts users with attainable, powerful pleasure. We believe sex toys are another way in which we can begin to chip away at societal barriers standing in the way of healthy and happy sex lives.”
DiGiT boasts five speeds of accessible satisfaction with just a flick of the finger. For every DiGiT purchased, Hot Octopuss will be donating profits to charities chosen by the campaign’s activists. Close to their hearts, these charities include: Human Rights Campaign, Little People of America, SAGE, Race Forward, Project HEAL, National Center for Transgender Equality and Human Rights Campaign. DiGiT may be purchased on the Show Stigma The Finger website: ShowStigmaTheFinger.com.
Hot Octopuss believes everyone deserves to enjoy sex to the fullest and is no stranger to unconventional campaigns. Masterminds behind The Changing Room, the world’s first orgasm pop-up shop, and NYC’s ‘GuyFi’ public stress relief booth, Show Stigma The Finger is the latest installment designed to kickstart important conversations about socially created norms and stigmas.
To learn more about the activists and the campaign, visit ShowStigmaTheFinger.com.
ABOUT ALEKSANDRA KARPOWICZ:
Aleksandra Karpowicz is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist based in London. Her work is dedicated to people and human nature, and she uses the female gaze to challenge wider concerns about the representation of bodies, human physicality, sexuality, and identity in today’s mass-media age. She works against the current trend of unnatural digital manipulation of the body, in a fight against mass media’s tendency to perpetuate one “ideal” form. Her new three-channel video installation ‘Body as Home’ has been selected as a flagship project of the launch of a new district dedicated to contemporary art in Venice, Italy, coinciding with the opening of the 58th Venice Biennale.