Right … I’m going to sound like a proper little prude here, but I think I sense a rant incoming. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also: I don’t actually think I’m actually that much of a prude.)
This blog post has been a long time in the making. I started writing it many months ago and then decided not to post it just in case someone thought I was just being bitchy for the sake of it. But, well, I’m a vaper and I have an opinion. Also, I did those whole question & answer things recently with V2 Cigs and ecigclick, and the topic of women in vaping came up a few times. It appears I have quite a lot to say on the matter. This might even be a two-post rant.
Q: Do you think the vaping industry recognizes female vapers – apart from the odd pink mod!?
A: “I have found that online marketing involving female vapers often leans towards the provocative, which does sell, admittedly, but I do wonder if this could give the wrong impression? Particularly to women who want to start vaping.”
Source: Women that Vape – Are They Being Forgotten? / ecigclick.co.uk
Do I have your attention now? Excellent.
I would mention the girls featured in these images, but I don’t know who they are. The vape companies who share them usually don’t give original credit. This also makes me incredibly mad.
I’ll just go right out and say it:
A Letter to the Vape Industry: Stop Sending Me Nudes
I DO NOT need to see naked women promoting vaping EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN DAY. You are promoting vaping in entirely the wrong way, and you’re also giving women like me a complex. Irresponsible stuff, guys, c’mon. What are you playing at?
What is the deal with vaping being so overly sexualised these days anyway? And I’m not just talking about women either, to be fair. Every day I head on over to my vape Instagram page or Twitter to have a flick through, and I’m met by either half-naked women or men, lounging around in bed, in some desperate attempt to make vaping look sexy.
Let’s get one thing straight:
Vaping isn’t sexy. It isn’t meant to be.
(And yes, I said, “desperate” because it is.)
Smoking isn’t sexy. You’re not even allowed to market cigarettes sexually, so how is it okay to market vaping and vape paraphernalia like that?
(**I know the two aren’t the same. I’m a vaper, ex-smoker, remember?)
Honestly, it really winds me up. I also think it sends off a really bad message, particularly to young women – NORMAL young women. NORMAL young women who want to quit smoking / start vaping.
I’m a normal woman. Actually, I’m far from normal, but there’s a brand new topic for a brand new day. But I’m an average, run-of-the-mill woman who vapes. I started vaping to quit smoking and it worked. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I haven’t been entirely cigarette-free for the entire time I’ve vaped. I’m human. I make mistakes. I also regret the ashtray smell surrounding my head for an hour or so afterwards. That’s why I love vaping. Why would I want to smell like an ashtray when I can smell like Raspberry Candy? Who doesn’t want to smell like Raspberry Candy? Jeeeez, people have been complaining about the smell of cigarettes for so long, you’d think they’d jump at the chance to be surrounded by these lusciously scented liquids.
Anyway, missing the point slightly. I’m an average woman. Seeing a half naked woman lounging on a bed and blowing smoke O’s … It doesn’t make me want to vape that product or buy that vape. It makes me feel inferior because my boobs aren’t quite that perky and my butt certainly doesn’t look like that. It makes me feel like I’m not “cool” enough for that product. Lame, but true. (Can I also remind you that I have anxiety? It messes with your head, and also encourages overreactions … )
These women are absolutely stunning, yes. And they are. I have total body envy. Face envy. Butt envy. Hair envy. Ink envy. Makeup envy…. You get the hint. But what exactly do those boobs have to do with vaping? They don’t tell me that ‘Strawberry Seduction’ (or whatever they’re promoting) tastes great. Go do your thing, girl, be naked with appropriately-placed star stickers to stop you from being reported on your Instagram page if you like. Be proud of your body. I’m only bitchin’ coz I’m jealous. But … vape co’s shouldn’t be using this to promote their stuff, surely? Someone’s gotta draw a line somewhere … right?
I asked similar questions on Twitter a while back, and someone suggested that some of the vape models didn’t even really vape to begin with.
Source: Twitter / @wupplesvapelife
It doesn’t get any better when it’s half naked men either. I want to see a half-naked man even less than I want to see a half naked woman. Women are prettier than men, for a start*. Plus, I’ve got a man. Also … 99% of men who try to look sexy when they vape, don’t. It’s probably about the same for women too, if we’re being entirely honest about this. (It sure is the case for me, something I’ll get to in a moment.)
Why? Just why? Why are we trying to market vaping like this? I mean, in the current situation where opinions on vaping are massively divided, why would we want to make things even worse? I really don’t see the point.
Vaping isn’t sexy. It isn’t meant to be.
A while back, Mister best-ecig and I decided to play around with my camera. I wanted to try and recreate some of the sultry or provocative — not sexy — poses I’d seen women vaping in, for Instagram. And yes, there’s a difference. HA! What a laugh that was. I guess he’s my photographer-person. When I want vape photos, he takes them for me. He’s the ONLY person I will let take photos of me. I HATE my photo being taken.
Even in front of him though, I couldn’t provocatively pose for these photos. I felt utterly ridiculous. I’m not a model, far from it, but I couldn’t make vaping look sexy even in front of my fella. It was one of the funniest nights we’ve ever had.
“I love how these vape chicks look so hot, windswept & vaping on the beach. I just look like a potato “ Instagram/bestecig
Funny — not sexy.
Vaping isn’t sexy. It isn’t meant to be.
I don’t know why we did it, in all honesty. I’d seen a cute girl pose in a cute way on a vape page and I wanted to try and look as cute as she did. I’m more goofy than sexy, admittedly, but there was nothing sexy about the way the photos came out. I mostly looked uncomfortable. At times it even looked like I was on the verge of tears or yet another fit of hysterical giggles.
How do these vape models do it? Seriously …
For the record, I have chosen to NOT share the really crap shots we took. Sorry, no.
Afterwards, as I flicked through those photos, I just felt a little foolish. Foolish that I let myself get swept up in this provocative wave of vape promotion, but also foolish for the vape industry. I mean, come on, do we really need to stoop to a half-naked girl in order to sell a product? A couple of my photos didn’t turn out too bad, but even then I couldn’t quite bring myself to use them. The ones I did use … Well, I cut the provocative all out of them. I REFUSE to sex my game up for the vaping industry. I shouldn’t need to do that.
My bad for almost selling-out.
If your product isn’t selling, make a better product. Or get a better marketing team. Don’t call upon a girl in bed, with much bigger boobs than I’ve got, a much smaller waist than I’ve got, and a much sexier face that I’ve got too. That doesn’t make me want to buy your product. That makes me feel like your product was created for beautiful people only. I’m not beautiful enough to use it. That picture will appeal to a few people. I thought about listing them, you know: men, the LGBTQ community … But that opens up a braaaaaaand new debate, and I’m still learning the appropriate political correctness of it all.
Now, I’m very well aware that the vaping industry is heavily saturated with men, and I also know that sex sells. It is inevitable that the two should come together, but I’m just a bit bored of it. I also feel that it makes my life much harder as a woman. And, trust me when I tell you that my life has already been pretty difficult because of my gender. In the mobile phone industry, for example, customers would happily and very openly wait 45 minutes to be served by a man, rather than be served immediately by a woman. Not just me, any woman.
“No thanks, I’ll wait for a man, if that’s okay?”
Snort and laugh all you like, it happened to me regularly. Thankfully, it worked in my favour because it meant I didn’t need to do any real work. Cheers, sexist customer. I’ll be vaping in the back office if you need me.
Stick me behind a bar, on the other hand, and every guy in there chats me up. They all want to be served by me, practically ignoring the male bartender standing just a few feet from me. True story, bro. I lived it, I learned it.
If I’m surrounded by half naked beautiful vaping women all the time, how am I meant to keep up? I’m trying to be taken seriously in this heavily male-orientated industry. Well, relatively seriously, I’m aware I’m a bit of a ditz. But are people going to watch my videos or read my reviews when they can watch Tricia’s reviews, cleavage bouncing around like a caged animal desperate to break free? Unless I follow suit? For a brief moment when Mister and I were talking about my PROVOCATIVE vape shots, I felt that I had no choice but to sex-up my game. Thankfully, that moment lasted all of about five minutes, I swiftly gave myself a slap around the face, and then I got over it. Seeing myself trying to pose with a vape cloud covering half my face certainly helped with that.
Provocative vape shots? Nah, thanks, I’d rather drink my own vape juice.
(We all learn from our mistakes.)
I just think there is NO need for it. There’s me trying to scroll through Instagram to show my Nan some of my latest vape-photography skills, but before I get there I need to scoot through 15 images of essentially soft-core porn, ranging from simple nude shots with vape cloud covering their modesty to lesbian vape action shots, and sometimes actual BJ simulation. My poor Nan. She’s a smoker, by the way, and one that DEFINITELY won’t vape now.
“Oh, no, I don’t want to be a part of any of that nonsense. I’ll stick with the fags. I don’t need to be half-naked to use them.”
So, not just “average women” you’re putting off then, vape co’s. You’re putting some of the pensioners off too. Well, my Nan at least. After a lifetime of smoking, I finally find something that might encourage her to quit and you go and make her believe she can’t do it because you put Tricia in your poster with her ta-ta’s hanging out.
What about vape events too?! Every single time I look back over at photos of various vape events, I think to myself: “Oh, phew. I’m so glad I didn’t go. I’d have looked like a whale next to those vape girls in their bikinis and barely-there costumes.”
There’s a time and a place for that kinda stuff. If I want the Pussy Palace, I’ll head to Amsterdam. If I want vape juice, I’ll head to a vape shop or a vape event. I get that all that sexuality appeals to men, and maybe even some women, but what’s going to appeal to the rest? ecigclick asked if women in vaping were being forgotten … We’re clearly not. We’re just being used (or, at the very least, put across) in all the wrong ways.
And then we come to my final point. And I promise this really is my final point now too.
By using overly sexual images in your advertising, you are almost making it okay for men to send ME ( / other female vapers) overly sexual images. By overly sexual images, I mean just like one man (in particular) who sent me a video recently via the best-ecig Facebook page. I’m not giving the cretin any airtime, but let’s just say that this is appropriate:
(IT WAS SO BIG I ALMOST CRIED! )
So, to those in the vape industry who have control over this marketing stuff: please stop using half naked women in your advertising. You’re making me and my Nan feel inferior, men keep sending me nudes, and from what I can see on Twitter, it’s pissing a load of people off, male and female included.
Maybe it’s about time you started rethinking your next marketing campaign?
Final note: If you do happen to know who any of these gorgeous vape ladies are, please feel free to shout out their Insta accounts, etc. I’d love to actually give them credit
*This entire post is MY OPINION. I appreciate that not everyone will have the same opinion as me, and I welcome friendly debates. I do not welcome unwarranted trolling. Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments below, or come and have a chat with me over on Twitter & Facebook!