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The Kindle Bikini Girl Trilogy: The Shocking Conclusion!

By Stephen Silver


{Note: This post originally ran on Entertainment Tell [2].}

You may be familiar with the saga of the Amazon Kindle Bikini Girl, a character who has been appearing in commercials for Amazon’s popular e-reader for the last several years, most of which have included subtle or overt shots at Apple’s rival iPad.

The first ad, in 2010, featured the bikini-clad lady, played by former NBA dancer Anna Zielinski, lounging poolside, telling an interested gentleman that she paid more for her sunglasses than for the then-$179 Kindle.

The ad, according to a CBS News blog post at the time [3], “plunged the nation into civil war,” over whether or not Bikini Girl was likable. Adfreak described her at the time [4] as “a snooty ice queen who brags about her frugality and flaunts her wasteful consumerism,” although the commercial got millions of views on YouTube:

The campaign returned last February, at the time that Amazon launched three separate Kindles. This time, another interested gentleman approaches Bikini Girl, who points out that she has one Kindle for herself and two others for two of her children—and that altogether, the three cost less than the man’s iPad. When he asks whether anyone has that seat, she replies “my husband.”

Now, in the new ad, another gentleman is seated on the beach next to our still-bikini-clad super-reader. She again mentions her husband—leading into a surprise punchline that isn’t going to be such a hit with the American Family Association:

Must be a relief for Bikini Girl, to not get hit on at the beach for once.

It’s sort of refreshing that such an ad can run and not be especially controversial, something I couldn’t have imagined as recently as five years ago. Amazon has a reputation as a very gay-friendly company and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife donated $2.5 million to a successful campaign last year to legalize same-sex marriage in Amazon’s home state of Washington [5].

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2 Comments (Open | Close)

2 Comments To "The Kindle Bikini Girl Trilogy: The Shocking Conclusion!"

#1 Comment By Michael W. Perry On February 21, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

On the contrary, I’d suggest that a major corporation that’s says nothing about our nation’s million-plus-a-year abortion rate or our hideously high rates of kids growing up in impoverished, single-mom homes isn’t that impressive when they do an ad targeting a demographic as well-heeled as homosexual males.

No, what Amazon is doing is simply going after the money and neither babies nor those hapless moms have much money to put in Amazon’s shopping carts. I know. I meet those unfortunate moms all the time. In some outside work I did last week, one was delighted when I let her pick up all the tips rather than insist that I deserved half. I figured she needed the money far more than I.

Keep in mind that the latter problem has grown so bad, as Charles Murray demonstrates in Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, that even the NY Times has begun to recognize it. From what I can see, it’s the central source of misery in our society. Amazon’s silence on the topic, its refusal to contribute to political solutions that help those fatherless kids, speaks quite loudly about its corporate indifference. Greed reigns supreme in all those buildings that Amazon is erecting in Seattle’s South Lake Union district.

And at the core of the problem are two defective ideas. One’s illustrated by that Amazon ad, separating the concept of marriage from that of a man and woman raising children. Every society needs that not only to be healthy, but to continue to exist at all. Raising kids well matters a lot. On the other hand, there’s absolutely no value to society in attaching importance to two people, whatever their sex, rolling around in bed. It doesn’t even mean that they like or will continue to like one another. We might as well attach a supreme value to getting drunk, becoming stoned or, less destructively, taking a walk in a park.

The second is a repetition, with a different concept, of the greatest failure of the nineteenth century. During that century, Europe was wrestling with what supreme concept could replace its loss of faith in God. As Hannah Arendt notes in The Origins of Totalitarianism, two ideas won out, nationalism and socialism. Either has a place as one value among many. We should be patriotic and society should help the less fortunate.

But both are utterly dangerous as The Ultimate Source of All Meaning. History demonstrates that all too well. The end product of nationalism was Nazism. The end product of socialism was the communism of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. Nothing human makes an adequate god.

Our society, and indeed all of Western civilization, is now engaging in that same madness about sex. You see it in the same telling characteristics that were true of deified nationalism and socialism. Both are warnings that something that isn’t God is being made into a god.

1. Suppressing contrary points of view. When I mentioned to one homosexual I’d met that we needed to take into account Alfred Kinsey’s data that fully a quarter of male homosexuals focused their interest on young boys, he told me that I should be jailed for saying that. “Jailed for repeating Kinsey data,” I told myself. “You’ve got to be really sexually radical to want to censor the views of the twentieth century’s greatest sexual radical.” Make a point of view godlike, and you quickly develop the secular equivalent of blasphemy laws. You even turn on your own. As historians have noted, revolutions typically devour their founders. Kinsey the pioneer becomes someone to silence. Like Stalin’s Marxist colleagues, he’ll be airbrushed out of history.

2. Violence and destruction directed at those who threaten the deified worldview on a massive scale. Jews, Slavs and others threatened the purity of German nationalism and had to be killed. People with a talent for economic success (Kulaks and under Pol Pot, those with an education) threatened communism and also had to be killed in by the millions.

In the same fashion, babies threaten a deified worldview that claims that sex (at least of the heterosexual sort) has nothing to do with marriage, families and kids. Read the Supreme Court decisions and you’ll see underneath the legalese that, while abortion was initially legalized to reduce birthrates among the black underclass (Roe in 1973), since 1982 the abortion majority on the court has been arguing for the deification of sex. as a supreme value.

That doesn’t work. One of the central problems of our society is that, while babies may be legally abortable, they’re not being aborted in nearly enough numbers. Unable to find husbands in a society that has disconnected sex from marriage and families, many young women still insist on having children. That’s the reason for a recently announced and most disturbing statistic–that fully half of the births to women under 30 now involve women who don’t have a husband and a father to help with the burdens of rearing that child.

That’s why there’s no reason to find anything impressive in Amazon’s latest ad. Like many corporations, Amazon’s executives are so tightly focused on their bottom line that they’re of no real value to society. And that’s why I’m a capitalist in the same sense that Churchill defended democracy. It’s merely less bad than the alternatives.

Of course, in the long run the social ills that Amazon is doing nothing about will turn and destroy their own profitability. Single moms who’re having trouble putting food on the table don’t have the money to spend on Amazon’s more profitable products. And kids that grow up in such homes will live forever after with two strikes against them. They’ll never make very profitable consumers.

Some of this will be touched on in a short book I’ve almost finished, Carina, The Girl Who Couldn’t Say No. The book will be free as part an effort to help girls like the one in its title, so you might want to look for it. Unfortunately, the bulk what needs to be said will have to wait for a later book that’s still little more than a concept.

And in that book-to-be I may even use that silly Amazon ad as an illustration of this cruel and ultimately destructive folly.

#2 Comment By Xendula On February 22, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

I hadn’t seen the ad, but it makes me like Amazon so much better. This topic is a non-issue in Western Europe, so it’s nice to see that things are coming along around here as well.

@Michael W Perry, if you want people to actually read your posts, try being more to the point. Who has time to read a 5 page rant in this day and age?!

I read the beginning, skipped to the end, something about single moms?! You must have looked at the wrong ad.