The latest Playtex commercial is aimed at female athletes. Check it out:
The Slate article about this ad points out that this is a step beyond fear-based tampon ads, which centered around the horrors of using a faulty tampon while wearing white pants or walking with the cutest boy in school. That’s true, and it’s a good thing. I’m always a little hesitant to get too excited over “empowerment” ads, though, because more often than not they’re taking something that isn’t particularly empowering at all and selling it back to women as “girl power” (see Sport Corset).
So I can’t give the ad a standing ovation, because it’s still selling you crap through the whole “empowerful” schtick (you’ll also notice that the empowered women are almost all young, attractive, white, and thin). But the fact that advertising is moving in the direction of recognizing girls and women as athletes and as subjects with interests outside of being sexually appealing is a good thing. The fact that tampon ads are shifting from fear-mongering about oh-so-embarassing menstrual blood and instead claiming that tampons can make it easier for women to be active is a good thing. And at least their claims are relatively true. The Sports Corset isn’t going to make you run faster, but a tampon will sure as hell make exercising easier than wearing a pad. Of course, there are several tampon alternatives, like sea sponges and the Keeper, which are reusable and better for the environment (and your septic system). They’re also cheaper in the long run, and don’t put your money in the hands of big dudely businesses. And they’re easy to use while exercising.
This ad isn’t great, but at the very least, advertising does reflect social norms, values and desires. And if snowboarding speaks more accurately to the lives of younger women than trying to score a date with Travis does, I’d call it a net gain.
Similar Posts (automatically generated):
- A Big Jar and Some Pads, Please — Menarche Becomes a Gold Mine by Lauren March 13, 2006
- Museum of Menstruation by Jill April 12, 2006
- The Women of Gitmo by Lauren July 15, 2005