When the general public thinks of prostitution they don’t normally think that it’s a happy occupation to have. The majority of people will think of stories about hookers pepper spraying teenagers and stealing piggy banks to fund their lifestyle, not happy-go-lucky sex workers.
However Brazil recently launched an advert campaign to try and move past prejudice and to encourage people to be more accepting of sex workers.
Furthermore, by openly advertising safer prostitution the government hoped to raise the awareness of sexually transmitted diseases.
Unfortunately the campaign has been reviewed before its even begun. Health Minister Alexandre Padilha as well as other critics have seen the advert as glorifying sex work:
“I do not think this is a message the ministry should be sending […] For as long as I remain in office, an ad like that will not be part of our campaigns,”
Unlike Brazil’s AIDs campaigns, which distributes free condoms and realistically approaches the sensitive topic in a heavily Roman Catholic country, the happy prostitute advert has failed to achieve acceptance.
The recent advert isn’t the first to be rejected and redone. Most recently there was a video produced for the festive carnival months that was dropped due to using openly homosexual content.
The footage was nothing explicit, however it was enough to have officials worried that it sent out the wrong message.
The current prostitute campaign will still focus on safe sex, demonstrated by the “Not ashamed of using a condom” slogan. This is probably more in keeping with the current sex tourism climate anyway than happy prostitutes.
In recent years sex tourism has increased dramatically in Brazil. Although it’s been publicly acknowledged that sex workers are busier than unusual, it hasn’t been enough to make scandalous headlines like in Orlando.
This is due to the fact that the country suffers from such dire poverty that leads many young people to become sex workers.
Hopefully now that the happy prostitute advert has been rectified the government will finally be able to address the more serious issue of underage sex workers as previously vowed.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]