The other day we found some Christmas ornaments that reinforce the notion that the home is the man’s castle, the couch is his throne, and other examples that likens a man to being a king for no apparent reason. The ornaments are shaped like ties, for the male breadwinner of the family, and say “King of the Remote,” “It’s Good to be King,” and “CEO of this House.”
This is the third in a three-part series about women and advertising.
There are plenty of commercials and advertisements aimed at aiding women with feminine health issues, but they are incredibly secret about what area needs aiding. When using the words “feminine health,” “feminine hygiene,” or “feminine area,” these ads are talking about women’s private parts — the vagina, to be exact.
But the word ‘vagina’ might be too real, vivid, or disturbing to use, as Democratic state representative Lisa Brown found out after saying ‘vagina’ and then being banned from speaking by male politicians who took offense with her choice of words. One colleague, Republican Mike Callton, was very upset and insulted by Brown using the word ‘vagina’: “What she said was offensive. It was so offensive I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
This is the second in a three-part series about women and advertising.
A commercial for the facial-hair cream Vaniqa depicts a woman getting ready in front of the mirror. She spots a facial hair (which is not visible to the naked eye), and looks away with a hopeless, dejected look on her face. As the female narrator says, “When I spot facial hair…”, the woman in the commercial turns to the camera and says, with a male voice, “This is how I feel; manly, unfeminine.” In her own voice, the hopelessly dejected woman states, “Now I don’t even want to go out.” Apparently, facial hair is not only extremely unfeminine, but like any other part or characteristic of women’s bodies, it is tremendously embarrassing and unattractive. The commercial spends another minute and a half describing how Vaniqa can help women overcome their manly traits and feel good about themselves again. The female dermatologist can help: “Women don’t talk about this problem with anyone, but they do talk to me about how powerless and unhappy they feel. I recommend Vaniqa.” The commercial ends with the statement, “free yourself from the constant worry and maintenance of unwanted facial hair.”
The thing is, we all have some sort of body issue, and at times we do feel insecure and unattractive. The point is not that women should not use these products; it is the message that is frustrating. That message is: You are never good enough, and you never will be. Instead, you should feel so intensely bad about yourself that you will use our products.
This is the first in a three-part series about women and advertising.
There are plenty of advertisements that target women while featuring low fat or low calorie foods and snacks. Special K is among those. In many of the commercials they claim that healthy eating is the overall message, but this is not true. Often their message is that women should feel guilty about their eating habits — so guilty that they should switch to Special K.
Many of these advertisements are the same. Women are either struggling to get into a pair of skinny jeans (it is always skinny jeans) or a cocktail dress. Or they are hungry, even possibly starving as they stare at muffins, chips, and other fatty snacks. Then guilt takes over and that is when Special K steps in with its promise of happiness and delicious low-calorie, low-fat snacks.
I spent a day last week off work due to stomach flu , so I was catching up on talking cats, Jezebel.com gossip and other wonders I don’t usually have time for during a work day. While I was busy investigating the glory of the Internet, my Mom sent me a link to the website of a chicken slaughterhouse. My Mom’s a law professor and doesn’t usually spend her days trawling the Web in search of places to kill the farm animals she doesn’t have. But one really does not have to have the least bit of an interest in poultry to find this site, or rather its banner, “amusing.”
You can keep rubbing your eyes and it won’t go away. This chicken slaughterhouse in North-western Poland thought it’s a good idea to advertise its chicken killing services by having a “hot blonde” in a bikini pose surrounded by chickens (which will presumably have their heads chopped off at any minute). I don’t know about you, but by golly, I wouldn’t want my chickens killed anywhere else now that I’ve seen this.
This obviously isn’t the first loosely food-related disturbing ad I’ve seen, but one other especially stuck in my mind. My husband and I were on a trip to Southern Ukraine (he was working and I was being the awesome supportive partner), when walking in Yalta we bumped into this: [Read more...]
UPDATE: If you feel so compelled, please use this link to write a letter to the editor of the Dallas Observer. http://www.dallasobserver.com/feedback/EmailAnEmployee?department=letters
I was flipping through my copy of the Dallas Observer, our local alt-weekly. Yes, I know that the ads for escorts and strip clubs aren’t exactly pro-woman, but this one really caught my attention in all the wrong ways.
So, let’s have a discussion. What can we do, as readers and consumers, to get rid of this sophomoric crap?
Photo courtesy of Kelli Ondelacy, a local blogger and tweeter.