I have always been fascinated with advertisements because there is something seemingly magical about them. A commercial could make me, someone who has a deep hatred of oranges, invest in a lifetime supply of them, you know, just in case my ever-lasting hatred subsides. My interests in commercials is largely based upon its relation to gender. Whereas it is often discussed that women are sexualized and commodified, I feel as if there is another aspect concerning the gender politics of advertisements that requires more attention. This is not meant to discredit the incredibly valid claims regarding the objectification of women in commercials, I mean have you seen some of them?
After all, who could forget Paris Hilton’s role in the commercial for The Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger? The commercial begins with Paris removing her fur coat before walking over to a car. She lifts a sponge and you assume it is to wash the car, explaining her wardrobe choice of a bathing suit so her clothes will not become dirty. Also, bathing suits are able to absorb water, allowing her to avoid the unfortunate event of getting your clothes soaked. Yet Paris lifts the sponge and washes herself, perhaps to clean herself to prevent the car from becoming dirty. She then rubs her body on the car a few times, a mistake we have all made when we confuse our selves with our sponges. Instantly, a burger appears in her hand and she resumes her activities while munching on the delectable treat. Skip to different camera angles that result in Paris walking on all fours to clearly clean the floor so the tires will not become filthy. The commercial ends with Paris taking a bite into the burger and I assume with the car not being fully washed. It is safe to say that the commercial is problematic because of its overly sexual content.
While there is much to say on this (and much has been said), what about the commercials and products that attempt to make up for commercials like Paris Hilton’s? These products are often color-coded to make them accessible for women. Granted some products are released in pink for Breast Cancer awareness, but more often than not, these products are simply granted pink accents to appeal to women.
Do the objects seem unnecessarily gender-coded? Well, that is because they are. These products are colored pink hiding through the intention that they are trying to make items that are for women, yet they are actually insulting. Are women that different from men that they need their own version of tape?
It is time to draw attention to the absurdity of these items and we can begin to do this through using the hashtag #MarketHer to document these instances as well as voice opinions and thoughts about the ways that marketers attempt to appeal towards the mythological Her, the fabricated woman who loves and needs all things pink to survive.