Airbnb's New Logo Prompts A Vagina Dialogue

What better new logo for Airbnb, the website that facilitates your home away from home, than an abstract rendition of the female orifice?

Jul 17, 2014 at 11:30am | Leave a comment

Certainly, there's nothing homier than a vagina. Regardless of sexual preference, we all once cozied up in one. It's the doorway to life!
 
What better new logo for Airbnb, the website that facilitates your home away from home, than an abstract rendition of the female orifice?  
 
 
On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based company rolled out a new logo, along with the looping new mark, opening its "doors to a new brand identity centered around the feeling of belonging," according to a press release. 
 
Airbnb introduced the new logo along with a new website "that allows its community to create their own unique symbols -- something no company has ever done before."
 
Airbnb calls this new customizable logo "Bélo." More than a few Twitter users are seeing a vagina. But like much great art, it's open to interpretation. Some see an anus, others a scrotum. (ReadWrite asked Airbnb what its designers saw, and what they intended, and we're waiting ot hear back.)
 
This is, after all, a company that prides itself not only on great customer service, but also design. (Seriously y'all, have you seen Airbnb's website? Stunning!) Airbnb cofounders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia both went to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, for cryin' out loud.
 
It Takes One To Know One
 
If a woman's most sacred flower isn't Airbnb's intention, well...that's embarrassing. An argument could be made -- and has been, within the ReadWrite offices -- that this is yet another example of male-dominated Silicon Valley's "vagina blindness." 
 
One need not look as far back as the unfortunately named iPad (which still sounds like Jony Ive's vision for a sanitary napkin) to see the ongoing slights to the female form. 
 
Then again, Georgia O'Keefe claimed not to have seen the whole vagina-flower thing everybody else insisted she had going on in her posy paintings, going so far as to say in 1943:
“Well—I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flowers you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower—and I don’t.” 
Vagina or no, I like it. What's more, Airbnb has a new catchphrase that accompanies the logo: "Belong Anywhere." What's more welcoming to a vagina than that? 
 
Reprinted with permission from Readwrite.
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