I just found out that March 8th is Blog Against Sexism Day. Damn, I almost missed the memo! It's also International Women's Day. So there's a lot to celebrate, I guess.
This works out great though 'cause there is a series of commercials I keep seeing that are driving me berserk. They're the ads for Sunsilk hair products that use the tag line "Get Hair-apy!" The first ad that I just found annoying was the blond girl who "stuffs" her hair. Stupid and poorly written, but it's just a commercial.
Then they started in with these blonds vs. brunettes commercials.
Ah, yes. Nothing like a cat fight to sell your product, right? Not only are we supposed to be obsessed with our looks because, you know, that's all we as women have to offer, we're also evil catty little things. Ugh. At the website, you can join either the blond or brunette team by clicking on the icon that says "Grab your weapons, girls. The color showdown in ON!" Once you're there, you have to choose between the Blond or Brunette "VIP lounge". There are nifty little polls with questions like "How many dates have you gone on in the last month?" and "How many people have you hooked up with at one time?" I kid you not.
The really fun thing about this, is that Sunsilk is part of the Unilever Company. Unilever is the company that also owns and manages Dove. So, while they use happy-touchy-feely-everyone-is-beautiful marketing on one product, they turn around and use girls-are-shallow-and-will-claw-each-other's-eyes-out-over-hair-color humor on another. Just another reason I'm glad to be a red head, I guess. (sigh)
Madison Ave. has done a fantastic job over the years making women the prime consumers in our society. Even back in the "happy homemaker" 1950s we were the ones getting all the pitches for high end items like the fabulous new washer and dryer and the vacuum cleaner that will make house work a breeze! In the 70s and 80s it became more about their commercialized idea of empowerment. They took the reality of the women's movement and repackaged it into expensive skin creams and Virginia Slims cigarettes. Now, they've co-opted "Girl Power" and turned it into anything pink and sparkly with a bit of an edge to it. Is it any wonder more and more of us are opting into the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement? It may take a while to design and sew my own clothes or make my own soap, but at least I'm sidestepping these creeps who think blond jokes are a reasonable way to sell shampoo.
So, since it is International Women's Day and since I'm Blogging Against Sexism, I'm putting a call out to all my sisters. Let's turn off the damn TV when these stupid catty stereotypes come at us. Let's remember that we're all in this thing together. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the media bullshit, just remember that you can turn it off. You can go outside and enjoy a walk. You can read a book. You can volunteer as a mentor to a girl who doesn't have the life experience yet to sift through all this nonsense. You can simply choose not to buy the lie.
Or you could not buy the shampoo. Whatever.