Pantene’s last ad

Posted: December 18, 2013 by jennroig in Commentary, English
Tags: , , , , , ,

The debate is hot around the representation and perception of women brought by media in a first place and embedded in the society as a whole. The damage is real. It can be counted in the limited number of women that rise to get access to positions of real power. It’s tangible in the huge number of girls and women all around the planet who express unsatisfaction about their body image, and the increasing number that get sick because of it.

The debate seems to be spreading throughout the public sphere. But it really makes me confused -half angry, half appreciative- to find out that it has become a hook for commercial purposes.

That’s Pantene, which is a brand that commercializes products of femenine hygiene and beauty. Are we women so in need to find peace and learn to accept and embrace our bodies that Pantene’s marketing department decided that it would be a good idea to join the anti-sexist discourse?

I’m confused about the ad because the ultimate purpose of that brand is selling us stuff that are supposed to make us “more” beautiful. So we need to “consider” that dedicating time to be “neat” -as it would be applied to men- doesn’t necessarily make us “vain”.

Actually, Pantene isn’t the first brand to come out with this approach. Dove has already done it with its Real Beauty Sketches.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against women who invest resources and time to try to look cute, and use makeup, and love fashions, and visit the hair dresser quite frequently. That’s fine.

But please, be aware that both Pantene and Dove will also show you, in an immense number of other ads trying to reach you through other media, the same image that in these ads are trying to fight. That image of the impossible woman, with the impossible hair, that aims to make you feel flawed, so you’d go and buy whatever miraculous product that will turn you into the perfect and female animal.

The debate is hot. There are so many arguments as casualties. We are so used to a discourse that diminish women that sometime we don’t even notice the little details. Be aware.

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