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Ikea – Airbrushed from history

Well, not Ikea, just women in its catalogue, and not all women, just women in Saudi Arabia.

Ikea Catalogue – World wide

ikea1fore - world wide

Ikea Catalogue – Saudi Arabia

 ikea1efter - Saudi Arabia


  1. mactheknife says:

    And you express surprise?

  2. CountingCats says:

    No, just spreading the word.

  3. Robert the Biker says:

    I’m actually surprised that there is a big enough market for IKEA’s flat pack gear in Saudi to make this bullshit worth their while.
    Unless (heh) the standard catalogues with all the beautiful scandinavian women are used as pornography over there.

  4. NickM says:

    Considering that Shoddy Absurdia has a women only town (am I the only one thinking of pantaloons and Sir Sidney Rough-Diamond prizing jewels out of a metal bra – which must never have been comfortable – in the Khazi’s harem). It is self-perpetuating fallacy. It is in fact an easy way of doing porn. I mean if a woman in normal dress is seen as a harlot then a glimpse of stocking is considered shocking. It is often regarded that Islamic states (note states, not nations – a lass can walk down the street in Istanbul in a short skirt and is less likely to be molested than in London). No, it’s almost a viral descent into self-imposed depravity. It keeps many Arabian males in the continual state of teenage priapism. I have sketched female nudes (and male nudes) and found it embarrassing because the teacher would look at my work. He’d look at everyone’s work and I suspect that the two least embarrassed people in the room were him and the model. Nudity is relative and context dependent. It has to be or you get the insanity of Saudi and the idea a woman in PJs is a sex object and ought to be banned.

    I have spoken to Muslims who wanted all nude pictures from the National Gallery burned. I said even the Rokeby Venus? Yep. Thing is some Muslim men do regard a women being nude (by their definition of nude – which could include jeans and a T-shirt) as a violation of their ownership of women. It’s the old, old thing isn’t it? It’s “If you didn’t want to be raped why go out like that?” It is deeply sexist against men. It is saying they can’t help themselves with their carnal ways, bless. Fuck that! I’ve met women on Key West wearing noting much beyond bodypaint (and with their explicit consent) photographed them. They liked it, they were flattered, and they were pretty and the paint was cool. And nobody got dragged down an alley and buggered because civilized people can cope with flesh on display. Becuase we have moral agency. I guess Saudis do too but their imams think not.

  5. John Galt says:

    Bloody good photoshopping though.

    There are no remains of reflections or anything.

  6. RAB says:

    They don’t do Littlewoods catalogues in Saudi then? When I was a nipper we didn’t have Porn, we had to make do with the underwear section.

  7. SadButMadLad says:

    I don’t see any problem with adjusting some marketing stuff to make it more appropriate for the market in which it is seen. Microsoft did it by removing some black people from some Polish marketing. Google adjust their websites for Chinese sensitivities.

    Is it the job of companies to promote equality propaganda? Or is their job to make as much money as possible for their shareholders.

  8. CountingCats says:

    True, but it is a sick culture which seeks to hide women away in this manner.

  9. NickM says:

    I agree Cats. And the thing is the image is in no way sexualised.

  10. And the thing is the image is in no way sexualised.

    That’s an observation from a society at least vaguely grounded in reality. It looks different through Wahabbi eyes.

  11. NickM says:

    Well if you can get your rocks off to that then fuck ya basically. I suspect at some level it is the idea of women using the bathroom that has the imams twisting their pantyhose.

    If that amuses you I have a Muhammed cartoon toilet seat,,,

    … Duck and cover in 3,2,1…

    The Saudis are complete fucking arseholes.

  12. Penseivat says:

    I can imagine the father saying to the child he is drying, “It’s a shame your Mum can’t be here to share this bonding moment with us all, but since the bastard Muslims stoned her death for allowing her ankle to be seen, I’m afraid it’s down to you two and me.”
    Alternatively, the man could be a paedophile grooming the two young children and sating, “Don’t worry kids. The Imam has said it’s OK for us to do that special thing together. Isn’t it wonderful living in Rochdale?”

  13. Paul Marks says:

    Bleeping Ikea – bleeping suicidal West.

    Bleep, Bleep, Bleep Wahabi bleep bleeps.

  14. bloke in spain says:

    I’d agree with SBML on this. In fact, I’d say it less a case of airbrushing out than not photoshopping in. Which asks the question, why in our culture do we insist on dressing everything up with ‘attractive’ people? Are we really less likely to buy that phone if it isn’t shopped into the hand of a bit of generic teen totty? Do we really believe all DIY is performed by inadequate bumbling males supervised by their hyper-capable wives?

  15. JuliaM says:

    SBML: “I don’t see any problem with adjusting some marketing stuff to make it more appropriate for the market in which it is seen. Microsoft did it by removing some black people from some Polish marketing.”

    As did Ford. And didn’t they both catch hell for it?

  16. This isn’t photoshopping after the event. If you look closely at the two pictures there are tiny variations that make it clear they are two separate photos. While there may be one missing the father also, I suspect that the option to market in this way was already recognised when the photoshoot took place. Whether that was recognised by IKEA or the ad agency we will probably never know.

  17. Roue le Jour says:

    A curious pair of pictures. The background is clearly different, see the toilet rolls on the left, the top of the shower curtain, the brown hand towel in the center, and shot from a slightly different position, suggesting a substantial time difference between shots. Yet the two male figures are identical. Is it some kind of Muslim ‘spot the difference’?

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