Friday, January 27, 2012

Drink Crystal Light and You'll "Get Wet" with an Attractive Man on an Exotic Island

I chose this title for my post because it points out the absurdity of this new Crystal Light commercial. Two "workaholic" women on a plane don't need to worry about bikini season until they get into a plane crash and find themselves stranded on an island with an attractive man. It ends with an image of a woman taking off her shirt saying "I'm going to get wet." So, what's so problematic about this commercial? It makes the assumption that women need to constantly fret about their weight because you never know when you'll get into a plane crash and be getting wet with a perfectly chiseled model?!

It also assumes that if you drink Crystal Light, you will be more attractive to a man, making a point that a woman's only power is her physical body and sexuality. The commercial begins with these women exclaiming that they won't be having fun because they are too busy working, so the working woman becomes this haggard, boring, and uninteresting archetype. 

I think what frustrates me the most about this commercial is the commentary surrounding it. For example, a blogger wrote, "I feel like women with a sense of humor appreciate this too. But there’s a few groups who might derail the happy feelings: angry feminists and prude conservatives. ANYTHING slightly controversial in a gendered manner tends to get the ire of feminists."

First, let's break those stereotypes about feminists (refer to this video for further details). Also, I saw an incredible documentary yesterday called Miss Representation. It examines how the media controls the choices young men and women make about their bodies, relationships, and careers. If young girls only see women on television taking off their clothes for men, then what kind of ambitions will they have for the future? Sure, this is just one commercial and many children might not pick up on the sexual innuendo, but all forms of media such as commercials, movies, television shows, etc. contribute to a big problem consuming young women. It's not funny that young women think they must dress "sexy" or diet to the point of starvation to become successful professionally and romantically. How do young women develop healthy senses of self amidst these controversial, limiting images? 

These images affect everyone and inform the ways men and women communicate with each other. It saddens me that so often I overhear the same conversation among men:

Boy 1: Hey, what did you do last night?
Boy 2: Man, I was hammered last night, and I think I banged like five girls.

These images and conversations need to be questioned. When I make these statements, Michael Jackson's lyrics to "Man in the Mirror" play in my head. 

I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways. If you want to make the world a better place, just look at yourself and make that change...

(Click to see a clip of Glee performing "Man in the Mirror")

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Check out this cool new blog!

I am TAing a class this semester called "Empowering Girls." The students have a class blog where they will be posting thought-provoking links, clips, etc. Check out this link!