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The Sensual Watermelons of Paris

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The Sensual Watermelons of Paris


We stare at each other, she with her melon bra, & me with my Nikon, neither of us blinking.  We are both sure the other is out of place.

Sex sells. In Paris it would seem that’s the only way to sell anything.  Next to me in a train station is a large banner of clearly topless woman posing with a slice of watermelon.

The watermelon & hand has been poorly photoshopped onto an unrelated image of a sensual nude model.  It is plastered in many busy train stations, & on large billboards along the streets.  Clearly no one in the add campaign has ever eaten watermelon.  To eat that sticky treat in the nude would be an uncomfortable & awkward ordeal, even for the most poised Parisian.  If a watermelon & perfume advertisement look the same, maybe it’s time to hire someone with a bit broader viewpoint.  Where’s the billboard of a cheeky child with a huge slice of melon in his or her soft little hands, & perhaps some drippy bright pink juice?  You don’t see the overtly cheery advertisements in Paris that sell things back home.  After this realization, I tried finding some, and found nothing, not one.  This surprised me.

My friend Raoul has lived most of his life in the city.  When I brought the sexual nature of the advertisements to his attention he said he didn’t even notice anymore.  Soon both of us were on the lookout for bright cheerful ones.  The only ones we found were for a Smurfs movie.  I love Paris & hope to be able to go back many times.  Perhaps next time I too will be among those kissing in public.  I will however continue to associate watermelon with happy messy children.

Hannah Galli