Friday, May 17, 2013

Very sad, thoroughly exasperating Avon commercial

Perhaps the most common theme in American tv commercials is the "men are disgusting, clueless pigs who don't deserve the long-suffering women who make their lives worth living" theme.  We see it presented over and over in commercials for beer, cell phones, cable and satellite systems, etc. etc. etc.  Being a guy who in no way resembles the awful cliche'd parodies of men portrayed in these ads, they rarely fail to irritate the hell out of me.

This Avon commercial is very different.  It manages to make me truly angry at the main character's husband. It convinces me that he's an emotionally distant, abusive jerkwad who- yes- does not deserve this beautiful, sad woman he's been with for ten years-- and he's not even in the ad.   How does Avon manage to pull this off?

Well, we are told by this woman's Avon representative that she's "never worn my lipstick....because she never felt she was pretty enough for it."  We are also told that this woman (who looks just fine to me, by the way) couldn't look her Avon representative "in the eye-she wouldn't look up."  She's got some serious image problems here, and I really feel for her.  I'm rooting for the Avon lady to pick this woman up off the mat and give her a reason to believe in herself....

And then comes the horrible punchline.  We are told that this woman is about to "celebrate" (using that term very loosely) her tenth anniversary.  So here's what we now know about this customer:

She does not think she's pretty enough to wear nice lipstick.
She is not confident enough to look into the eyes of her Avon Representative.
She has been married for ten years.

Now, I'm not one to argue that a woman's self-worth is totally wrapped up in her husband.  But if this very nice-looking woman has been married for ten years and does not think that she is the sexiest, most beautiful, most incredibly desirable woman on the planet, her husband is the biggest fail in the history of human relationships. I don't need any more back story.  I don't care if this woman has suffered emotional problems in the past.  If after ten years of marriage this woman thinks she's not pretty enough to wear nice lipstick, it almost certainly means that the dickwad she's attached to likes her insecure personality because it keeps her chained to his side (and in his house.)  Because there are two rules to every man's relationship with his wife:

1.  All men believe they are married to the most beautiful woman in the world
2.  Not all men let their wives know this, because they are not certain that she feels as lucky as he does.  These men are called insecure, selfish, frightened little boys, and can generally be found "gently" reminding their wives that hey, lady, you are lucky to have me because you might not realize it, but you are really damaged and I could have done much better.  You, on the other hand, would be alone if it weren't for me and my charitable attitude toward taking in damaged people.

Maybe I'm reading way too much into this very short Avon ad, but I don't think I am.  This woman's husband doesn't have to make an appearance.  He's the worst person in the world.  And she ought to celebrate her anniversary by running off with the Avon lady.  They could go dancing.


  1. Oh rats, you beat me to it.

    As an aside, what do you mean, you aren't "pretty enough for red." THAT'S WHAT MAKEUP IS FOR, YOU IDIOT! TO MAKE YOU PRETTIER! THAT'S ALL IT DOES! Good grief.

    I have said the above without any concern for the lady's insecurities, which have been beyond oversold to make the Avon lady--erm(cough)uh-I-mean representative look like a hero instead of a comically outdated method of sales.

  2. Of all the reasons I know for why women don't wear red lipstick, 'I don't think I'm pretty enough' is not on the list and never has been.