April 21, 2010

Axe wants you to "showerpool" this Earth Day

Leave it to AXE to bring us Showerpooling just in time for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day tomorrow. AXE Canada, in conjunction with WWF-Canada, bring you “showerpooling” as an environmental measure aimed at helping Canadians conserve water by showering with friends.

I have no issue with environmentalism, water conservation or co-showering. But, AXE’s main intention is not water conservation. It’s selling a heterosexual male fantasy that includes slippery encounters with multiple women. Remember, these are the people that want to give you hair action and have a history of over-the-top sexually explicit ads that usually involve fantasized orgies of some sort (remember, “real men” are uncontrollable sex monsters). Does anyone remember the  2005 ad with the shower and a row of towels labeled: his, hers, her sisters, her roommate’s?

Or what about the AXE shower power tool for your man parts? After all, no “real” guy uses a loofah and the shower power tool “washes off  Jessica’s perfume off your ear” and “scrubs Jessica’s Mom’s perfume off your knees.” (Read the analysis at Sociological Images here.)

Earth Day 40 is big business and AXE is just another company seeking to profit from this event by selling the idea of one man having sex with multiple women by using their shower gel. Check their facebook page. It’s no big secret. Every image shows one man with one or two, five or ten women. And the last image in the sequence is the showerpooling essential, their stinky body wash.

Yeah, I’m all about water conservation and showering with my partner, my toddler son or some of my best friends. According to AXE, though, showerpooling is an act of water conservation that can only be performed by one man with several women with shower gel in hand. Afterall, “it’s not just environmentally friendly, it’s all kinds of friendly.” Wink.

If I’m going to conserve water in the shower, I’ll do it without a group ratio of 1:5 men to women, and without their sexist and toxic product (a toxic product doesn’t seem environmentally friendly, does it?). Or I’ll just cut down my own shower time.

April 14, 2010

Britney Spears un-altered: does it matter?

The Daily Mail posted an article along with a series of photos of Spears for an upcoming Candies campaign, unaltered and altered.

I agree that it is a “brave” move, especially since Spears continues to be taunted for weight fluctuations.  As stated in the article:

Celebrities, and the industry around them, are often accused of producing images that affect young people’s body image.

Which is why it’s so refreshing to see one of the world’s most famous pop stars allowing all of their imperfections to be highlighted.

One thing that I think is important to note is that Britney Spears looks good *unaltered* yet, according to industry mandate, must be altered to remain within the unrealistic, nonexistent beauty standard that has been created and is maintained incessantly.

Spears’ decision to release the unaltered photos next to the altered versions is to be applauded along with French Elle’s recent “Curvy Girl” version (or their make-up free issue last year). These efforts correlate with Dove’s ongoing Campaign for Real Beauty which gained attention (not all positive, mind you) in 2004. Since their campaign launch they have produced several campaigns and videos ironically critiquing their own industry (not to mention Dove’s use of “real women” to sell firming cream and the fact that they are owned by Unilever, a company that also owns sex AXE).


Do these efforts matter? Well, yes. Of course.

Do they represent “change?” Not exactly. Real change will occur when these images are not the exception but the norm and these images do not represent a handful of images and in a sea of millions of taken-for-granted but absorbed images that counter their positive message.

March 17, 2010

AXE wants to give you some "hair action"

Filed under: Media Gallery — Tags: , , — Melanie @ 6:29 pm

AXE, the purveyors of ad smut, are back with a new series of advertisements promising to give you “hair action.” The first one is the one that makes me recoil the most knowing that it’s based on the fraternal “bro-bonding” ritual that announces one’s hook-up victory. Ew.