Today my study master-plan went awry and I somehow deviated from my desk and ended up vegetating on my living-room sofa. Surprise surprise. I found myself sitting through yet another episode of
Honey Boo Boo Game of Thrones until the inevitable four-minute long ad breaks interrupted my bliss. As I entered the kitchen and inspected the fridge to kill a bit of time, this message appeared on my TV screen, and I couldn’t help but watch.
My first thought: Crotch sweat? Since when did that become a thing? Great, just perfect. Another product I have to carry in my handbag.
My second thought: So I’m not supposed to sweat when I exercise?
My third thought: Hold up, not sweating at the gym is a waste of time. This is actually ridiculous.
Are we to say ‘Sorry Nike, she don’t run no more because she’s ashamed of shedding a bit of sweat?’ Apologies Adidas, ‘#mygirls’ are more concerned about making a fool of themselves in front of those guys by the dumbbells (who are ironically dripping in sweat themselves). So 81% of women say sweat patches are not good? I do not dispute this statistic, but I think almost 100% of us women would not have even thought that sweat stains after a workout was a major issue until we saw this ad.
To all girls out there who’s worries when seeing this commercial aligned with my first thoughts: most guys have a brain. Therefore, most guys can consequently understand the causal link between working-out and perspiration. And no, it does not make you dysfunctional or abnormal; it makes you human.
Then I got thinking, what if everything guys knew about the female species was totally informed by this sort of stupidity that infiltrates our TV screens? I set out to investigate. I decided to go about my day noting each advertisement that featured a women with some sort of bodily ‘issue’ or dysfunction, objectively deciphering the underlying message that the commercial gave off. Yes, watching TV and endless Youtube videos counted as ‘research’ in this instance.
So what did I discover about women?
1) We’re bloated. All the time
The first ad that popped up that featured a woman came from Activia Yogurt, advising us to ‘Beat the Blurgh’ feeling. With female endorsers like Jamie Lee Curtis and comedian Felicity Ward swearing by this probiotic, I can only reach one conclusion: only women have dodgy guts.
2) All this bloating makes us constipated
Metamucil’s tagline, ‘beautify your insides’ undeniably targets women, leading me to believe that inadequate bowels prove to be a troublesome concern for the female populace alone. However, do you want to know is more discomforting than irritable bowels? The notion that Metamucil is now associating itself with the beauty industry, rather than positioning itself as a mere health product.
I cannot help but think of the dangers surrounding Metamucil’s major strategy overhaul that involved targeting a more youthful market segment. Something isn’t sitting right; and no, I’m not referring to the gluten-laden white bread that seems to be bloating me up. Is aligning a laxative product with the beauty industry and promoting “drop dead gorgeous guts” to young women really safe? Or is it fuelling a culture of eating disorders that affects our most vulnerable? You decide.
3) We’re supposed to be constipated because “Girls Don’t Poop” at all
Poo Pourri? I can’t even deal.
4) WARNING: Our Feet are Fungal
In promoting its creams and ointments, Loceryl features women in their ads too. Ok perhaps women care more about podiatry health, but in my opinion, males should be more concerned about the state of their feet. To all men: after a long day at work or tough match on the sporting field….please, leave your footwear and sweaty socks outside the house.
5) We have a deep desire to flaunt our armpits
According to Andrew McCarthy, senior director of antiperspirants and deodorants at Unilever, “The message we want to get out there is that the armpit is not a bad thing, and that we stand for caring for the armpit.” Well I sure feel empowered now. Women of the world, take a stand. LOVE YOUR ARMPITS FOR THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.
After all, men don’t really care about your personality or intelligence, they care more about your underarms. #advertisinglogic
As women, we are sadly accustomed to the advertising industry subjecting our bodies to extensive scrutiny in order to sell a few more tubs of age defying wrinkle cream. From when were young girls shopping with our mothers we learnt that longer lashes are lustfully alluring, that shiny sleek hair is sexy and that glossy lips are more kissable.
The above ads depicting women represent the very tip of the iceberg; all women are almost programmed to look out for the ‘seven signs of ageing’ and we’re all familiar with the ‘sexploitation’ of women in Lynx ads. We’re portrayed as unfit mothers if we don’t use Ajax to clear away 99.9% of the germs lurking around our kitchens, and we’re persistently indoctrinated with messages about how we are expected to look and behave.
So what did I learn today? What if everything we knew about women was entirely informed by the advertising industry?
Well, apparently we’re all dysfunctional. Who would be ever be attracted to a bloated, sweaty, fungal female? This message is truly concerning. With each new ‘problem’ that marketing masterminds think up and attempt to ‘solve’ with cans of spray, tubs of cream, and bottles of goop, the more we deviate from what we think is actually normal.
Women are their own worst critics? Wrong. The entire advertising industry is.