What Women And Gay Men Want Us To Think Women And Gay Men See First
August 30, 2012 1 Comment
The other day I caught part of this bizarre TV commercial.
I had the sound down and didn’t see the end, so I couldn’t even begin to fathom what it was a commercial for until I saw it again a bit later. Turns out, the commercial is for some men’s hair product and so I guess that’s why it wants us to believe its tagline, ‘Hair: It’s What Girls See First’.
But the interesting thing about this commercial is how it functions as double-propaganda: pro-women, anti-men. The ‘joke’ is that it implies that men see women’s breasts first. So, that’s a knock against men for their shallowness.
Meanwhile women supposedly see…hair first. So the guy shown at the end could just as well have been a 450-pound slobbish junk-food addict, but as long as he had a great, well-coiffed head of hair, that’s what the woman would focus on, would ‘see first’. They’re not so shallow as to care about a guy’s body, muscles, or anything like that.
Do we really believe this?
Isn’t it odd that the makers of a commercial for a men’s hair product thought that insulting men and being patronizing to women was the way to do it? The usual explanation that comes to mind for this sort of thing is that commercials are mostly made by women (or gay men) who are steeped in a mostly-feminized subculture.
But I think there are 2 ways I can see to salvage the logic of using this commercial:
- Maybe they had some kind of detailed market research showing them that women actually influence the purchases of whatever niche of hair product this is at the margin they’re trying to influence, so even though the product is for men, the commercial is actually consciously designed to appeal to/patronize/flatter women.
- Maybe men who see this commercial get so distracted by the sight of the disembodied breasts that they just fail to think about the commercial’s larger implications. So the commercial’s makers knew they could sneak any propaganda in there they wanted and it wouldn’t matter.
Obviously, if the explanation is #2 then I guess that proves the commercial’s point…