So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that y’know, shock horror, Lynx have produced another sickeningly sexist advert. Oh, how the years have passed with their delightful gifts to society such as Sophie Monk offering to clean men’s ‘balls’ and wild-eyed, lust-crazed ladies running after a man on the beach. And I know, I’ve fallen right into the trap. I’m providing them with free publicity. I’m practically promoting the notion that sexism sells.
But I thought that maybe, just perhaps, some things might have changed. How optimistic. I mean it’s 2012- aren’t we all just a little bit aware that misogyny is not desirable? Did the wonderful documentary Miss Representation not infiltrate into mass culture? Reminding all of us naughty consumers of the harmful and dangerous potential of the media, how it seeps into our minds and distils our thoughts? Maybe some things have changed, but it appears others have not. And there’s nothing wrong with a gentle reminder.
Lynx’s new ‘Type of Woman’ campaign has really pissed me off. I’m forced to watch it every time I go on Youtube, and I do not appreciate this one little bit. ‘Keep Up With Your Girl’ poses five different ‘types’ of girl- sporty, brainy, party, high-maintenance, flirty. Five different tired stereotypes. Blindingly obvious and deductive. The viewer (supposedly male) is asked to pick his type and ‘find out how to keep up.’ This means giving a list of how to impress said girl in order to receive suggested sexual gratification. Basically, lie to women and you will get laid. And as a young woman, this just makes me feel a bit shit. The media makes me feel shit about a lot of things, how I look, how shiny my hair is etc and now it seems our personalities are under attack too. It’s not just bodies being commodified anymore.
The girl is seen as a problem, as a challenge, as a game to be played in order to receive a prize.
I am aware that Lynx have a gendered market that aims to appeal to young men, but is this latest campaign not a little bit insulting to that market also? Men are portrayed as clueless idiots, like they don’t have the intellect or personalities to form competent human relationships to these new superwomen. Furthermore, the idea that men feel they now have to ‘keep up’ with women disturbs me. As if all these leaps and bounds in modern feminism that were made to ensure women have choices, feel independent and are confident in themselves, can be dismissed entirely by a little bit of ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humour.
I don’t really expect a shower gel advert to fully depict women as the complex and diverse people we truly are but this latest stunt just smells pretty cheap, puerile and quite frankly, boring.