Smell Like A Man, Man

Ahhh, Old Spice Body Wash. Old Spice appears to be making a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the ridiculous, over-the-top portrait of masculinity portrayed in many advertisements for male grooming products. (Am I giving them too much credit here? I hope not.) Parody or not, I think it's worthwhile to take a look at what we're being told about masculinity.

Ad number one: Guy with a remarkably hairy chest (because body hair is apparently a signifier of Masculinity with a capital M, rather than something that grows naturally on the bodies of humans across the spectrum of sex) unflinchingly rips off some of said chest hair to reveal a message: "SMELL LIKE A MAN, MAN." The brains of manly men appear to be too overwhelmed by testosterone surges to care about elegant prose.

Ad number two: A decidedly feminine tableau containing a stuffed teddy bear ballerina-princess hybrid, some pink flowers, pink and red rose petals, and a pink cupcake is destroyed by the single punch of a MANLY MAN. Manly Men HATE pink! Pink things and flowery things and even stuffed teddy bears are the antithesis of masculinity, apparently. (Note the not-so-sly heterosexual subtext; masculinity punching a hole in and ramming through femininity.)

In conclusion, men, if you don't use Old Spice Body Wash you might end up smelling like something other than a man, and you can't be a manly man if you don't smell like a man, man. Man!

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