Having been ill for the past month, I’ve watched a lot of T.V. After watching commercial after commercial I have found that I hate most ads. Either they are annoying, repetitive, secretly racist, or promoting negative gender stereotypes. Sure, one might say that they are ‘just ads’ and to ‘not take it so seriously’, but it’s because we are inundated with these images and messages every time we turn on the television, the radio, or even walk out the door, makes it a big deal.
The following are three commercials (from least to most offensive) or portions of commercials that I believe to be some of the worst in terms of negative gender stereotypes. I am intentionally leaving out things like diet pills and weight loss ads because why those are bad is rhetorical.
Flo The Progressive Girl
I hate Flo. What I hate more is how many people I’ve meet or heard that say they want to be like Flo. They want to be like Flo because men think she’s ‘cute’. She may be cute, but she is also a ditz. She is not a role model. Now, I am sure it was never Progressive’s intention to make Flo into a someone to model your life after- but somehow other people don’t realize that.
Secret Flawless Deodorant
I don’t like to be pandered to. This is perhaps the dumbest commercial I have ever seen. Once again the girl is a ditz. This is when I switched to a different brand. During this same time Dove was running ads with women of all colors and sizes. They didn’t stoop to the duncey low that Secret plummeted to. It’s been taken off the Internet in most places for copyright, but you can still watch it at the link above.
This commercial is by far the worst, I am not the only one to think so. There is a lot of controversy about this ad because of that the mother obviously feels about her daughter. I have spoken to people who completely disagree. When the mother says “That’s lovely honey”, I feel that she is dismissing her daughter’s interests. I say this because she only glances down at the block garage and says everything with a completely false tone. Others believe that she is accepting her daughter by saying this. It’s up to you to decide.
Although there is a lot of bad out there in the ad-lands, I have seen at least one commercial of merit. It was a diet ad that featured a curvy woman walking around town. Every person she passed said things like “hey healthy!” and “Wow, healthy, looking good!” The advertisers changed what would normally be ‘beautiful’ or ‘sexy’ to ‘healthy’. I think that, though incredibly obvious, is a really good message.
Once I see the commercial again or remember what company it was for, I’ll edit this post with the video.