I was listening to Spotify the other day when an advertisement came on. Having a freshly made sandwich in my hands, the extent of my attention to Spotify was only slightly irked that my playlist was interrupted. However, it was the last line of the ad that drew my attention back:
“Stop making excuses and start taking care of your legs!”
I know you’ve had a tough day at work. I know you just wanna jump in to the shower to rinse off the sweat, then collapse into your soft feathery bed after your twelve hour shift today–
But you have a job to do.
I know that the cat kept you up most of the night using your thigh as it’s own personal scratching post–
But it is your responsibility to keep that ish together.
I know that the rope is broken and Sally is trapped in the well–
But she’ll want to stay down there when she sees you, you mangy, flea-infested yeti.
While advertisements geared towards women have certainly changed throughout the years, (it just works with the changing in culture) there is still an agenda. It is hard to put the blame on either side, the consumer or the advertiser, since one wouldn’t exist without the other, but the agenda is definitely present. There are societal guidelines that are expected to be followed. So while ads are no longer warning you that your husband will find another woman if you can’t properly wash a dish, they are still sending out a message, and it is important to recognize it.The advertisements geared towards women then and now do not exist on a spectrum of worse to better. This is an important distinction to make because if we maintain the mindset that advertisements are no longer pushing gender roles, expectations, and feelings of responsibility onto us, then we will cease to notice the effect that it has on us as individuals and as a population.
If I had heard this five years ago, I may have not been offended. I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it at all. Now granted, I’m not speaking out against all advertisements that are geared to certain sexes/genders. I do not believe these are inherently wrong or right, it’s just the way we as humans organize things. I get it. However, I would like to stress the necessity of teaching our young kids, (and everyone, for that matter) what it means to think critically. The key in understanding and developing our own opinions of the world that we live in is through careful notice of the world around us. It’s as simple as considering the audience of an advertisement and noticing how it impacts your life.
Notice because otherwise you accept it as truth without question. It takes a simple shift in a societal mindset of a population to completely rewire the fabrics of advertisements, and even further, gender roles in our society.
There is a power in thinking critically.
Here is the advertisement, in case you were curious.