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More Decadent Baby Talk

Tiffany jewelry offers the perfect reward for a hard-working mother, a $7K diamond watch suitable for diaper changing!

I’m really not sure who the target audience is. I assume it’s not 1950s-era glamour girls with new babies, and it’s presumably not for people who imagine themselves that way, since that seems like a fairly specialized fetish. But do people who appreciate irony spend thousands at Tiffany? Some must, I suppose. I certainly don’t. And yet I’m fascinated with the picture. I’d appreciate a poster, even. But it doesn’t make me want a watch, only an explanation.

I guess fashion photography has its own idioms. I enjoyed the New York Times weekend magazine spreads in my early teens for their sheer lunacy, the high-gloss hideousness they portrayed with a poker face so that I never knew if people really wore parts of these outfits or if the whole industry was a colossal joke. Even crazier are the ads for perfumes, since anything beyond the despised stinky envelopes in magazines or mailings is only about conveying a mood, and I really don’t see the connection between my self-esteem and scented water, but perhaps that’s a personal flaw. I’m also wondering who’s sold on the right-hand diamond phenomenon (temporary link, requires free login), a marketing campaign designed by the diamond cartel to get women to buy themselves diamond rings, since engagement ring sales aren’t doing enough for the industry. I’m sure it’s terribly liberating not to wait around for a ring, but why not just ditch the diamonds altogether if the symbology of the engagement ring is so oppressive?

Then again, I’m not immune to the power of advertising images. I went head-over-heels for a car commercial (I thought Volkswagen, but I can’t find anything about it on their website) showing a South Asian American family. There wasn’t anything special about the commercial, but it was so refreshing to see a “different” look from what’s usually given that I got all excited and happy. This is yet one more reason I don’t watch much tv.