Friday, June 26, 2009

Your One-A-Day Dose of Sexism

The commercial is for yet another "Specialized" One-A-Day Vitamin, (remember when there used to be ONE? Now there's One-A-Day for Men, One-A-Day for Women, One-A-Day for Seniors....) this one for the daily multivitamin needs of teens:

"One-A-Day Teen Formula has specially blended formulas to fit the special needs of both teen girls and teen boys: For girls, there's a formula to support healthy skin. For boys, there's a formula for healthy muscle growth...."

Um, excuse me? Teenaged girls don't care about healthy muscle growth? Teenaged boys don't care about healthy skin (then what's with all the Stridex commercials I've been seeing for years)?
Apparently not- I guess that when boys shop for a multivitamin, they think "which one will help me get stronger muscles to help support my growing body and skeletal structure?" and when girls shop for a multivitamin they think "which one will keep me looking hot, so I can attract boys?"

A few years ago, I saw an ad for the Sunday Washington Post, which included the line "there's something for everyone in the family." The "wife" in the ad said "I love the Style and Shopping sections," and the "husband" in the ad said "and I love the Front Page and Sports!"

Ugh, come on. Sexism in ads was bad then, and it's bad now. Teenagers of both sexes want healthy skin and strong muscles. There's nothing uniquely "male" about wanting healthy muscles, and there's nothing uniquely "female" about wanting clear, vibrant skin. The good people at One-A-Day ought to give this kind of stereotyping a swift kick into the ashbin of history. It won't be missed.

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