Category Archives: Advertising

Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” enters its teen years

Toward the end of January, Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” celebrated its tenth anniversary. Ten years of raising women’s self-esteem and/or just telling us we’re not as ugly as we think we are (mileage varies). Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Beauty, Body image, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

More hashtag envy: “Meninists” complain that everything isn’t about them #LikeAMeninist

Always, the company that sells menstrual products, ran a minute-long Super Bowl spot trimmed down from their longer #LikeAGirl video released this summer. The ad challenges the stereotype that running, throwing, and fighting “like a girl” indicates weakness and ineptitude by running the expression by adults (and one young boy), and then by a series of girls who haven’t yet been told that “like a girl” is usually meant as a bad thing. And then it took about ten minutes for the meninists to start protesting the “inequality” that there wasn’t another commercial for #LikeABoy.

This is why we can’t have nice things. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Sports | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

New Lego ad features girlchild, dragon, parachute, stuffed bunny surgery

I recognize, and have always recognized, that I’m kind of a sucker. And someone who’s spent as much time as I have working in advertising really should find herself less entertained by it. But here’s the thing: After spending so much time in recent times insisting to us that what Lego girls really want is pastel-purple bricks, “mini dolls,” and pre-made sets requiring minimal assembly, Lego has made an ad that I really like. Are they doing it to get money out of people? Yes. It’s what’s known in the industry as an “advertisement.” But it’s one that shows a girl playing with Legos the way research indicates girls play with Legos: Taking the world around her and creating a world of her own, using her imagination to see Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Gender | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Marie Claire Australia wants you to love your body.

Mainstream women’s magazines, despite their protestations to the contrary, are rarely an outright bastion of body positivity for any woman of non-model proportions and facial features. So it’s admirable that it was Marie Claire Australia that commissioned six ad agencies to create print ads encouraging women to love their bodies. But is it enough? Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Body image, Fashion, Media & Media Literacy | 45 Comments

I’m glad Lena Dunham gets naked on Girls

Season 3 of HBO’s Girls premiered Sunday night, Lena Dunham is on the cover of next month’s Vogue, and after a reporter from The Wrap asked her why she gets naked so often everyone is talking about how often Lena Dunham gets naked. So I am too! Over at the Guardian, I say that Girls is an imperfect show, but Dunham’s nudity is powerful: Not just because she looks more like the average American woman than most women on television, but because her nakedness isn’t primarily ornamental, purposed for titillation and aspiration. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Beauty, Body image, Celebrity, Entertainment, Gender, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture | Tagged , , , , | 74 Comments

Let’s Talk About Sex

We live in an era of unprecedented access to information about sex, imagery of sex and health care related to sex. Internet porn is ubiquitous. Sexual health information, though not always easily accessible, is more accessible online, in mainstream publications (hello Cosmo) and at doctor’s offices than ever before. Frank discussion of sexual pleasure is standard on television and in movies. There are entire university departments dedicated to the study of human sexuality. That’s all good, and we have early sexual pioneers and researchers to thank for it. But we still have quite a long way to go. I’d love to see us embrace a vision of sexuality that isn’t transactional or gendered or capitalist: Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Entertainment, Feminism, Gender, GLBTQ, Health, Media & Media Literacy, Politics, Popular Culture, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights, Sex | 159 Comments

Cheerios definitely has an agenda.

And it’s to so thoroughly entrance you with this unbelievably cute little girl that you’re to the grocery store, through it, and back out in the parking lot before you realize you’ve bought six boxes of Cheerios and you don’t even like cereal. I mean, look at her. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Racism | 58 Comments

Mountain Dew sells racism and violence against women

PepsiCo has pulled a Mountain Dew commercial that social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins calls “arguably the most racist commercial in history.” [Content warning for racism, battery, and basically everything that’s wrong with the world] Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Domestic Violence, Racism | 81 Comments

Billboard Fail: Why this billboard celebrating “remarkable women” doesn’t work

The Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour is a wall at Mount Saint Vincent University that pays tribute to remarkable women, and the intended message of the billboard is, “You should donate to the Women’s Wall of Honour, much like we did.” Continue reading

Posted in Advertising | Tagged | 27 Comments

When is an ill-fitting bra like domestic violence? When you ask Amante. (Or Jezebel.)

[Warning for references to domestic violence.]

The ad says, “Suffocation is the worst kind of abuse.” Is it really the worst kind of abuse? I don’t know, frankly; considering the range of horrible things done to women by partners and family, it’s kind of hard to rank them all. But I feel comfortable saying that suffocating one’s breasts with an overly tight bra ranks so far down the list as to not warrant even joking comparison. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Domestic Violence | Tagged , | 10 Comments

A Simple Saturday Post: Leave Me Out of Your “Everyone,” Mr. Apatow.

I just wanted to quickly mention the trailer for the new Judd Apatow movie, “This is 40.” Of course, we all know that Hollywood is guilty of all sorts of offenses all of the time, but it seems rare even … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Blogging, Entertainment, Fun, Marriage, Movies, Popular Culture | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments

Tarot! Get your tarot!

Hi guys. As some of you, but not most of you, know – I read tarot. Not because I’m a creepy “let me tell you your future, child… oh yes, a tall, handsome man approaches…” – type (Jesus, at least … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Entertainment, Fun | Tagged , | 213 Comments