Sunday, April 22, 2012

Men's Style Icon Ray-Ban Releases Pro-Gay Ad

In honor of its 75th anniversary, Ray-Ban  - creator of the famous Aviator and Wayfarer sunglasses - has continued an ad campaign started in 2007 called Never Hide in which they feature their own photographs of people standing out in the crowd, and also allow fans to submit their own photos.

On a loading screen at the web site they show a motto of sorts, words that could very well fit in with the Well-Met Code.
NEVER PRETEND
NEVER BE WHO YOU'RE NOT
NEVER CHANGE FOR SOMEONE ELSE
NEVER JUST GO QUIETLY
BECAUSE TRUE INDIVIDUALS
NEVER HIDE

That especially fits in line with the code of Sincerity, to be Well-Trusted: ...to be free from deceit, be earnest, and truthful. Simply, be honest – to others but most of all to yourself. It could also be called Integrity.


We've all grown up seeing Ray-Bans on the celebrities and heroes we looked up to. Ray-Bans started with Aviators on the faces of military men - iconically on General Douglas MacArthur during his landing on the Philippines during World War II - but most famously on the pilots of the movie Top Gun (which generated a 40% increase in sales of the Aviators). Then they went over the edge in popularity when they designed the Wayfarer. The plastic-framed glasses became popular immediately after release in 1952 and have been seen on everyone from musicians to actors of small and big screen. Wayfarers have been seen on unforgettable men such as The Blues Brothers, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Costello, Tom Cruise in Risky Business (his first Ray-Ban spot before his also iconic Top Gun Aviator shots), not to mention the entire crew of slick suited men of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

Since Ray-Bans appeal to such a varied audience of men - from all walks of life -  it is especially important, brave, and meaningful that one of the new images used in the Never Hide campaign is of two men holding hands. This obvious endorsement of gay couples, and with it rights, equality, and tolerance of gays by a brand and style shared by all men, and especially men's-men (military men, musicians, gangsters) could help bolster the rising acceptance of homosexuality  (at 49% to 41% in acceptance as of 2007) to a new level.

The message that people should never hide who they are, and that being distinguishable ('Out' for gays) and distinguished is good - even 'legendary' - is one that everyone needs to hear at times and it is inspiring to see such an iconic brand - for men especially - be so forthright in this exclamation.

For more information on civil rights and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, visit the Human Rights Campaign.