A Web site that sells "virtual currency" for multi-player online games such as World of Warcraft and Warhammer will pay a female porn star $500,000 to tattoo its company logo and URL on her chest.
Anna Morgan, who's 19 and from Zeya, Russia, is contractually required to keep the ad on her skin for at least two years. She says she has natural DD breasts, which the company announced "will provide an ample space for the advertisement."
Added a Web site rep in a press release, "A female porn star can easily appear in 50-100 films per year so this gives mymmoshop.com a lot of exposure for years to come."
And yuck! The Santa Monica-based Web site, which sells intangible stuff in the ultimate disconnect between commerce and reality, knows that this is outside the boundaries of respectability, otherwise it wouldn't have done it as a stunt. But whereas the joystick jockeys that came up with this idea probably think they're being avant garde, I can only see it as distressingly inhuman.
I won't deny that there's a link between couch potatoes, video games, and porn. But even people who have no issues with porn and defend it as an expression of free speech will be turned off by the idea of a woman being branded with an ad the way a cow is branded with her owner's initials. Morgan is welcome to make her own decisions about how she uses her body, but you don't see the United Way doing this kind of thing to raise awareness.
Then again, maybe Morgan is engaging in the ultimate kind of performance art. She's selling her body to porn viewers every time she makes a sex scene. Adding a corporate logo, in a way, is a step down, but the transaction is the same.
It sure could make the average Joe start looking at his porn intake in a totally new light. Every purchase is an investment in something, and if you pay for something, you're implicated in its production. If the thought of an ad tattooed on a teen-ager's breasts turns you off but pornography doesn't, somewhere in the murky middle, you're seeing the two transactions differently. And somewhere, Annie Sprinkle is giggling.
Morgan may in fact be striking a symbolic blow for women's liberation. Somehow I doubt it, though. She will receive her tattoo on June 15.
Update: Since Mymmoshop released its announcement, a number of people have come forward to accuse it of a hoax, claiming they cannot find evidence that Anna Morgan actually exists. I contacted the company by both phone and e-mail, but so far, it has not responded. Maybe because the only thing sleazier than branding a woman with an ad would be, perhaps, making up fantasies about it for cheap publicity. Because, you know, misogyny is funny.
Boob job: Branding women with logos is the new advertising mode