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Sabrina Maddeaux: “This isn't fashion; it's smut”

I was having a good day when a jumbo-sized image of a bikini-clad woman pushing her tits together and straddling a somewhat giddy-looking man floated down my Facebook timeline. Shit, the slutty spambots are at it again, I thought to myself a moment before realizing this post wasn’t spam, but the ‘editorial’ work of local fashion blogger Spiro Mandylor.

A few comments down, someone by the name of Benjamin Ho wrote: “You’re facing the wrong way XD!”  in reference to the back of Mandylor’s head — and not his face — being pressed against the girl’s nether regions. Mandylor was one of two users to ‘like’ the remark.

Turns out the photo is part of a “Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-On vs. It’s All Style To Me” spread (oh yes, pun intended), in which Mandylor purports to test how easy the EasyWax really is. “If it’s so easy, then clearly even a guy like me could work it right? Turns out it’s as simple as plugging the self-heating device in and rolling it on a beautiful model such as Kara,” he writes on his blog It’s All Style To Me.

Mandylor, via the sort of enigmatic logic only a frat boy could understand, decided the best way to test Veet’s product claims was to spend an afternoon using EasyWax on a bikini-clad model. Of course, the model could not apply the wax herself; she needed the sturdy hands of one Spiro Mandylor to manually roll the wax onto her legs and very upper thighs.

The model just had to sprawl out in a bathtub for the whole scenario (except when she was riding Mandylor’s head, of course). And, like any good shoot supervisor, Mandylor could not leave his model unattended in the bathtub, so he had to get in with her. And hold her hand. And wrap his arms around her. And spread her legs on his shoulders.

The images speak for themselves. They’re disturbing examples of how fashion’s hedonistic culture allows fashion photographers as big as Terry Richardson and bloggers as small as Toronto’s Mandylor to see this sort of thing as an acceptable use of their influence.

Despite the fact his post ends with “In Association with Our Friends at Veet Canada,” I have to believe this isn’t the type of coverage a female-oriented company like Veet hoped for when they gifted Mandylor their product (Update: Veet’s PR company, Maverick PR, retweeted Mandylor’s post today with the comment “Amazing job on this!” I take it back). Then again, maybe I’m being too optimistic about a company that thought this ad was a good idea. Either way, I’m surprised Veet hasn’t demanded he remove these tasteless and, quite frankly, cheap images in which EasyWax is used as an excuse to objectify and degrade women. This isn’t fashion; it’s smut.


Sabrina Maddeaux is Toronto Standard’s managing editor. Follow her on Twitter at@sabrinamaddeaux.

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