Mamarama: A Staunch Democrat Finds Herself in an Anti-Obama Ad
The other morning I woke up to some surreal information: “I think I just saw you in an Obama campaign ad!”
For a few heady hours I was under the impression that my image appeared in an ad supporting President Obama in the upcoming election. This was not entirely unlikely in that I am a stock photography model for an agency that specializes in regular “mom types.” This agency sells those images to various other agencies and occasionally my likeness pops up in TV ads, brochures, and websites – always to my surprise. So while this news wasn’t shocking, the subject matter was certainly of a grander nature than that PTA pamphlet I was pictured in.
However, later that day my friend located the ad online and delivered the bad news along with a YouTube clip.
It was not a spot supporting Obama. It was paid for by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and was meant to show average Americans appearing disappointed by the state of the country. The camera lingers on my face while the voiceover intones; “Now you DO have the power… the power to make a change.”
I am cast as a disgruntled middle-class Democrat who appears to be considering a switch to the Republican side of the fence. I watched in silent dismay, feeling like my identity had been robbed.
Then the calls and messages began to come in:
“You’re like the poster child for liberals,” a friend said. “How did this happen!?”
“I thought I was having a bad dream this morning!”
“Even my dog was flabbergasted when he saw that ad!” wrote another.
“You’re going to have to be your own spin doctor,” one suggested.
As a childbirth educator, women’s rights and maternal/childcare advocate, teacher to urban pregnant teens – I could not possibly be a more inappropriate face for the RNC’s ad campaign.
A further irony is that a primary part of my livelihood has been eliminated due to Republican budget cuts when I taught pregnant teenagers about childbirth, newborn care and FAMILY PLANNING. “There is no part of my work or personal life that is inclined to support any Republican candidate,” I wrote in reaction to the ad on YouTube.
I started to wonder if the RNC was not entirely truthful when they procured this stock image. The stipulations of image usage specifically state that they may not be used for “pornographic or defamatory purposes.”
But how do I actually define “defamatory” purposes? I mean, barring pornography what could possibly defame me as an individual other than representing me in a way that is completely at odds with my very being?
Consider this blog to be my statement protesting the usage of my stock image in support of the Republican National Committee’s message. If I have any legal grounds for action against the party, please let me know, because those guys picked the WRONG Democrat to represent their misguided message.