by Mark N
(content note: sexism and objectification in advertising, strong language)
This has been pointed out before many, many times. Anyone who reads about these things on the internet will know about this already. But I was watching TV the other day and noticed an advertisement that added another scoop to this bit of upsetting knowledge. Please take a moment and watch the videos below…and pay special attention to the top right corners at the end of each ad:
Yes, those wonderful Dove ads that campaign for self-esteem, “real beauty”, and helping girls and women to see through the barrage sexist, objectifying, awful crap they are subjected to every day in our culture, are produced by the same company that produces the incredibly sexist and objectifying Axe ads. Most of us know this. However, I did not know until recently that Unilever is also behind the Klondike advertisements that include this gem about how terribly awful and painful it is for Regular Guys™ to actually listen to their nagging, boring, stupid wives for any stretch of time. Uuugggghhhhhhhhhhhh
I don’t really want to spend a lot of time talking about this, I think the issue here is pretty evident and has been written on extensively elsewhere. I just want to say one thing to Unilever, a company that seemingly cares about women and produces some otherwise pretty cool* Dove ads: Do you think that maybe the reason that girls and women don’t always think so highly of themselves could be, perhaps, possibly, related to the fact that they are constantly inundated with advertising that tells them that they need to be hot sex puppets for straight men, where “hot” clearly and exclusively means being exceptionally thin, with perfect skin tone, long legs, flat stomach, small waist, hourglass figure, long full hair, bouncy round breasts, heart-shaped butt, free of all body hair, wide bright eyes, full lips, and so on; and then if they actually manage to land one of these men, none of their interests or anything that they have to say is of any importance and they should be rewarding this man with ice cream (and more scantily clad women of ideal western beauty) for having the strength and courage to endure their nonsensical, meaningless dribble for more than 4 seconds???? Maybe? Could that possibly have SOMETHING to do with it? ….no? Okay, carry on Unilever. Mendacious jerks.
P.S. I know the Axe and Klondike ads are “just a joke”…which is exactly what Unilever’s defense is when asked about it. Please, stop it. This shit matters. And they (ostensibly) know it does because they are producing ads like THIS…. to quote the wonderful Melissa McEwan, “whhoooooooopppssss”
*We could have a whole post dissecting the Dove ads, what is good about them and what is problematic about them. But I don’t want to do that now, I think the current point stands on its own.