Friday, October 21, 2011

Zombie Boy

OH RICOOO! What did you let them do to you!?!

I'm sure you've heard of Rico Genest aka “Zombie Boy.” He became world famous after he was featured in Lady Gaga's video for Born This Way. He has since become the object of many a fashion editorial and campaign.

Rico is the obvious choice when advertising for makeup specifically designed to cover tattoos. He's young, well-known, and plenty of people are beside themselves at getting to see him de-zombified. I remember Kat Von D doing something like this a while back for Sephora.

Still... I can't help feeling a little disturbed watching this. His tattoos are what he uses to define his character. They're not something he regrets and wants to cover up. He's never been ashamed of them, he wouldn't have (and plan for more) tattoos to the extent that he does if they weren't exactly what he wanted. It seems contrary to call this "dehumanizing" since they're physically making him back into a human... but that's essentially what's happening here. 

We start off this commercial with a ordinary man, well ok, an extremely good looking man. When he takes the make up off and the viewer sees him all tatted up, they get this feeling of “oh, what a shame. But yes, really great makeup coverage there.” I can't discredit Dermablend for trying though. It could have started out with him tattooed and ended with him completely covered, a reversal of the current commercial. If they would have done that, it would have changed the message completely: hide yourself. I'm glad, at least, that they didn't go that direction.

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