Atti-chewed: Gum that Takes the Cat out of Calling

  • 2019

  • Next Gen

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Doria Katos

Designed In:


This gum packaging design subverts the value of cat calling to make women feel safer when walking alone at night. It has quirky cat calls and come backs printed on the gum wrappers to raise awareness about street harassment and create a platform where the issue can be informally discussed.

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  • Gender inequality is an issue that affects over half the world’s population, and as designers we must actively push for this social change. I explored the concept of perceived personal safety for women, and how the looming threat of sexual assault and harassment, and the vulnerability and victimization felt by so many females, often compels them to change their behaviour to feel safer. I believe that this is unacceptable, and set myself the challenge to design a product that could empower women (18-25) to feel safer when walking alone in the city at night.

  • This packaging design is an enhanced edition of a product most women already carry in their bags; chewing gum. Each wrapper has a quirky, subverted cat call or comeback written on its outer surface, intended to be read before chewing the piece inside. By curating this first interaction with street harassment to be silly and light-hearted, it can diminish the affect of any real comments being made by others. There is also the option to slide the gum casing up and down at the back of the packet for a subtle, comfortable distraction while walking.

  • 'Atti-chewed' allows its users to possess and promote an attitude towards the issue of street harassment. Its chewed-lip motif and bold branding make a stand against this deep-seeded social norm, and encourage how it should not be tolerated by anyone. The gum's shareable nature also enables casual conversation and curiosity around the product, increasing the overall awareness of cat calling in our society. It provides women with a sense of immediate control over an object, which can project to feeling a broader sense of control and safety over their environment, despite the actual safety conditions.

  • This product is a very tangible stepping-stone solution to a highly complex and entrenched social issue. It uses a simple form like packaging design, to clearly communicate these underlying values of equality and objectification. The product is highly relevant, given all the women's rights movements currently happening all around the world today. The influence of social media with campaigns such as #metoo and #ibelieveher, creates a unique platform to deliver and promote 'Atti-chewed' to the right users, as well as connecting those who care about the denormalization of street harassment. I was actually inspired by the activist Instagram account @catcallsofnyc, run by Sophie Sandberg, 21, who writes cat calls in chalk on the sidewalks of New York City. The entries are sent in by her followers and she anonymously allows them to share their stories while also raising pubic awareness of the issue. The materials needed are of a low cost and can be sustainability created and recycled.