"It's my body", is a favored cry from libertarians, confused Leftists and rebellious
teenagers alike. The right to one's body is considered an inalienable right -
anything else would be tantamount to condoning slavery.
But sometimes separating the men from the boys is a good thing to do
(especially on Sydney's Oxford Street), and a case in the US might prove more
decisive than a crowbar in sorting out the real freedom lovers from the
lip-service lefties on this occasion.
Everyone's ABC reports:
A US mother had the name of a casino permanently tattooed on her forehead after
auctioning off advertising space on her head to pay for her son's school fees,
Karolyne Smith, 30, turned her head into a permanent billboard after an online
casino offered her $US10,000 to indelibly emblazon its name on her face.
The article goes on to say that they actually paid her another $5,000 for her
Most Australians like to
think of themselves as having an anti-authoritarian streak which goes back to
their convict roots, but the truth is quite different. They willingly accept a
bureaucrat telling them whether they can cut down a tree on their property, and
don't even grumble at at being forbidden from putting advertising on their
house. Most would be outraged at someone putting an indelible advertisement on
Surely the gummint should do something! Isn't what we elect them for? Stopping
people from making decisions we don't agree with? Well, no. Actually it's her
choice, and if you accept that someone's body is truly theirs, then the
conclusion is pretty well inescapable: it's their right to sell advertising
space on it. And if you think she will regret it? Bad luck. True freedom
includes the freedom to make mistakes.
But at least it disproves the rhetoric and sloganeering of the advertising
apologists: "Advertising - you'd probably notice it more if it wasn't
there". In this case I don't think so.