Written on 8:38:00 PM by Oakie Chiraskamin
Last two weeks I had a chance to do an extra assignment about "slaves to marketing." It reminded me of one image that i have in my laptop for a while. The guy in this image is Ryan Sheckler, an American professional skateboarder, with his last name tattoo on his back. Many people may know him from MTV's The Life of Ryan show. When I re-looked at this image again, some thoughts came across in my mind.
1. This kid is very talented and skillful. He has got a sponsor from skateboarding since he was 10 or 11 and presently (now he is 17) many big companies are supporting him like Red Bull and Volcom. So this image for me is kind of juxtaposition between expressing himself through his tattoo on his back and corporate logos that have been attached to him for 7 years. I feel that his tattoo is meaningless for me because he has been labeled and monetized so something that he tried to identify himself is diluted.
2. Teenage girls love and adore him. Of course, they are the slave to marketing. They think he is cool even he wears a Volcom t-shirt and Red Bull cap all the time. On the other hand he sells his own t-shirt on his official website with his tattoo screened on it like this. I can't deny that we are in capitalism and it works.