Commercial catastrophe

Hello Feministing community! Just thought I would share a little ass-hattery brought to you by Crystal Light!

It’s a diet product commercial! So we have to have women talking about how much they love diet products cause only women diet!

Also, I live in WA. It is never almost bikini season. Except for that freak global-climate-change-induced week of unreasonably hot weather that happens every year we have two beach seasons. Rain coat and boots season and sweatshirt and shorts season.

Truly, I don’t even really know where to start. Until this last year, I had lived rather television and hence commercial free since highschool and the return to advertisements post feminist-enlightenment has me flabbergasted at the sexism and policing of ‘gendered activities’.

So we have two women, the blonde woman who is worried about ‘bikini season’ and the brunette woman, pointing out quite reasonably, that they have minimal chances of encountering a beach. Alas! She didn’t foresee that their plane was going to crash land on a deserted island! With a beach! So now the blonde woman is oh so happy that she chose diet drinks so she will look good as she slowly starves to death. Presuming that hunky strategically-torn-shirt man finds fresh water.

Final tag line from Crystal Light: “Just in case!”.

Drink diet just in case you end up crashing on a desert island so you can look good! Never mind that the odds of your plane crashing are 1 in 60 million. And the odds of that crash happening on a desert island are so miniscule its not worth calculating. But you should totally always control your food just in case!

Obviously we are not meant to take the commercial literally, but I think it points towards a larger phenomenon with which we are familiar. Ladies, you should always be policing your words and dress and food choices and don’t wear those comfy sweatpants to the grocery store cause you are always on display. And you never know when more of you is going to be on display cause you apparently have no agency! So get snappin’ start lookin’ good!

This seems pretty feminism 101, but apparently that’s a class that ad execs missed, so we’ll just have to keep breaking it down ‘til they have a fuckin’ clue.

Crossposted at GirlfriendJunction and my Tumblr

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  • Andrew M

    As a straight male who does not define himself as a feminist, I also am disgusted by this commercial. It sends a destructive message to women (you are here for men’s sexual pleasure, and for…well, that’s about it) and it also sends a terrible message to men: women are here for your sexual pleasure, and all interactions with them should be based upon appearance. Both messages affect their intended audiences, which in turn has ramifications upon the opposite sex. The message is destructive both for women and for men, and we’re all losing out because of this type of thinking.

    Men are often blamed for objectifying women; I’m not saying it should be ignored, but is it really an inherent male trait to do so? It seems to me that it is media like this commercial that teaches and encourages men such traits; yes, the commercial was probably made by men, but there were obviously women involved. As for whoever wrote the commercial (I admit, probably men), I would wager that they don’t have any particular ideas about feminism or women in general, but really just wanted to sell a product; since it’s a product being marketed to a specific sex, why not introduce sexual tension and humor? People LOVE that stuff; it’s entertaining and it sells the product. But now, thanks to the media, there are ideas about sex and gender roles that don’t really exist but that are being perpetuated by a society trying to go along with what it thinks the rest of society is all about.

    I don’t think men mean women any harm…I think the society as a whole is a little bit confused. Men feel pressured to treat women as sexual objects as much as women feel pressured to conform to that image. We’re all a little bit off-track, and while it’s often seen as being manifesting in men’s favor and women’s disfavor, aren’t we all losing in this situation? In order for there to be a healthy femininity in a society, doesn’t there need to be a healthy masculinity? We’ll all benefit when we learn to interact with each other on positive levels, not based on discriminating preconceptions.