Shovel-headed and pasty Twilight star Robert Pattison has become the face of Dior’s new fragrance for men called “Yes, I Could Be a Rapist.” In this racy campaign, Pattinson plays a brooding and troubled up-and-coming sexual predator.
Marketing director Hans Attard says they were running out of powerful one-word names for their various lines of colognes. “As we were brainstorming,” he claimed, “someone made a hilarious rape joke and something just clicked and we knew straightaway we had just found the new theme for our fragrance and knew that Robert would play a great potential rapist.
For years, the fashion industry has subtly and not so subtly used images depicting the submission of women to male violence. Yet, it’s always been titivating and indirect, and we just thought why not go out on limb and say, ‘This guy’s hot, he is repressed, angry, entitled, he is white and privileged and smells so sexy, and yes, it’s quite probable he is a rapist.’
Considering how sexual violence is so prevalent, we decided to think outside of the box and look at the marketing opportunity that all those rapists out there present. Seeing as one in five women will eventually be the victims of sexual assault, we thought that meant those perpetrators were needing a fragrance they felt they could truly relate to. They represented an untapped market we wanted to tap into, and we felt that a well-known brand like Dior understood their sexually violent hopes and sadistic dreams. You would be surprised; violent sex offenders and large multinational corporations have a lot more in common than you would think,” Attard heartily joked
Attard went on to say, “The menacing shot where Robert takes her by the neck, pre-chokehold, and looks angrily into her eyes as she stares out all vacant and fearful, that sums up what the scent of ‘Yes, I Could Be a Rapist’ is all about. Power, dominance, fear, and violence with a hint of woody vetiver and light musk.”
Note for Robert Pattinson Stars in Dior’s New Fragrance for Men Called “Yes, I Could Be a Rapist”
I’d like to clarify something about this piece. In researching images for this article on celebrities selling/whoring their faces for perfumes, I came across the top image of Robert Pattinson choke-holding another model in an elevator for the Dior Homme aftershave.
It struck me as such a menacing and sexually aggressive image that inserting the word “rape” in the name of the fragrance is seemingly the logical extension of what these images really convey. These are not benign pieces of media; rather, they tell a story of what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman, targeted directly at the male audience, not to share truth or meaning, but to sell a product. To do so they are willing to tap into shadowy male fantasies of power, control, and domination, all masked under cool black-and-white shoots, an iconic Led Zeppelin tune, and Pattinson walking around with a grumpy and scowling face like someone just told him for first time he wasn’t really a vampire or even a good actor.
It’s the darkest piece of satire I have done, but it’s relevant in context to the ongoing images that appear in the fashion world under the guise of art. These ads continue to justify, glorify, and tacitly support sexual violence against woman, and they need to be called out, shamed, and ridiculed for the crude, warped, and misogynistic cultural turds they really are.