TECH
09/09/2015 05:00 pm ET Updated Sep 10, 2015

Apple Turns World's Oldest Catcall Into Product Demo

This is what happens when there aren't enough women in tech.

Catcalling dudes have been imploring women to smile since the dawn of the sidewalk. Catchy one-liners include: "You should smile more," "Aw, it can't be that bad," "C'mon, girl, smile!" and worse stuff I have fortunately blocked from my long-term memory.

But on Wednesday, Apple and Adobe turned the timeless and offensive notion that women should look happy all the time into a product demonstration.

At a hugely watched event announcing new iPhones and a bunch of other products (including, apparently, a $99 pencil), Apple showed off a new, bigger iPad that makes it easier to edit photos. In demonstrating Adobe's new Photoshop app for the tablet, designer Eric Snowden imported a photo of a gorgeous woman with a fairly neutral look and proceeded to edit her frown upside down. 

He essentially "fixed" her face, a writer at Bustle points out. 

I don't know much anything about the genesis of this product demo, but we do know something about the demographics at Apple. Not a lot of women work there: Overall the company is 70 percent male. Only 20 percent of the tech roles at Apple are held by women. (I feel compelled to note that many of Apple's customers are women.)

Apple CEO Tim Cook has pledged to turn this around. And the company's been making progress. Over the past year, 35 percent of new hires were women, the company recently announced. 

Still, Apple's not there yet, and this women-smiling product demo is the kind of thing that happens when there aren't any women around who can say, "Um, that kind of creeps me out."

That happened later on Twitter, of course. 

Last year, the company was criticized for unveiling a health app that tracks almost every bodily function -- except menstruation. It took Apple almost a year to update the app.

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