Sunday, June 24, 2012
Skinnygirl, Pizza, and a society which still has a long way to go
Here are two ads I saw BACK TO BACK while watching a high-quality movie on cable Sunday afternoon.
Well ok, actually it was Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, on Lifetime. Look, there was nothing else on, ok? And I was cleaning, so it was more like "listening to background noise" than "watching."
The first commercial is obviously aimed at America's female population. A skeletal model-type with pipe-cleaner arms, sunken cheeks and pronounced cheekbones (seriously, she's just screaming "FEED ME") sends a shout out to all her sisters who have made a line of alcohol products called "Skinnygirl" a success (I wish I was kidding. I wish this had turned out to be a parody. I really do.) These alcohol products are low-calorie, so women who like to drink can continue to do so without worrying that they might gain weight and therefore be unattractive to the highly selective Males. So we have a breakthrough in alcohol technology. Now all we need is a breakthrough in stupid, sexist "when it comes to women, less is more" technology.
The second commercial is obviously aimed at America's male population. It's an ad for take-out pizza. No, the pizza is not low-carb, low-fat, or low-anything else. In fact, it comes with cheese sticks and dipping sauce. There's no mention of calorie counts, and why should there be? Men don't worry about stuff like that. We can be as disheveled, unshaven, slovenly and soft as we want.
Skinny? That's for the chicks.
Maybe I'm being a bit oversensitive here. But it strikes me that in the year 2012, we should be able to do a little better than this. Do we REALLY need to continue the hideous, destructive message that women are more attractive if they cast a smaller shadow? Would it be so horribly wrong to show women drinking the same damn alcoholic beverages as guys do, and maybe even scarfing down a few slices of pizza along with them?
Would it be so damned awful if every woman in every commercial featuring food didn't look like she was a prototype for the next Barbie doll (there's a Katniss Everdeen barbie now, which I find especially heartbreaking; it's cool to be a tough survivor and a huntress, girls, but it's even cooler if you can fit into slinky outfits and turn the heads of the boys.) We almost elected a female President four years ago- but women can't drink the same vodka as the guys because if they do, they might not be stick figures who could make SI's Swimsuit Issue?
What the hell is the matter with us?