May 7, 2010

Windows 7: No Fat Chicks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Melanie @ 8:27 pm

A few years ago, Apple released a brand new ad campaign.  “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” was an instant hit, starring hipster movie star Justin Long and John Hodgman, and ran for years, generating lots of revenue for Apple.  Microsoft‘s rebuttals to this fell flat for quite some time, but their new ad campaign for Windows 7 proved successful.  Instead of focusing on mocking Apple, they highlighted the features of the new operating system, as told by “real people”, stating “Windows 7 was my idea.”  The first two ads I saw featured overweight, older men who are shown imagining idealized versions of themselves (as male models) when they “get the idea” for Windows 7.

I laughed, I loved it, and then I watched a commercial break a couple months back – same campaign, one major difference.  This ad utilized the same concept, except the latest ads featured women, all of whom are pretty enough that they could be the “ideal” person, the model that someone imagines themselves as.  Their “ideals” are women who are heavily made-up, and appear to be digitally enhanced.

I think those pictures speak for themselves, yes?

There are two theories that I hold about where Microsoft is coming from with this approach.  Either they are completely unwilling to show an “unattractive,”  overweight woman in their ad because, ew, that’s grossOr they deem these women “not worthy enough” and think they’re on the same level of attractiveness as the “regular” men in their ads.  One of the criticisms of the “beauty norm” is the double standard – men are allowed to be unattractive, women aren’t – I’d say that applies here.  The YouTube upload dates on the Windows 7 official page shows they set a precedent with the original ads – Steve, Jack, and Widmark were uploaded late last year, followed by Charline and Crystal in more recent months.  I would have deemed this a successful and funny campaign if they had been equal in their treatment of both genders.  Instead, they just cemented the fact that I’m a Mac.

April 11, 2010

Big fat double-standard

Filed under: Body Image — Tags: , , , , , — Melanie @ 9:06 pm

Two tweets may seem trivial but I have to comment on Brandon Davis’ tweets about Mischa Barton. According to HuffPo, Brandon Davis took several jabs at his ex, Mischa Barton, calling her “1 of the fattest people on the planet” and a “hefer.”

Like Jessica Simpson, Mischa Barton has been fat bashed in the tabloids for the last few years. None of it is OK but Davis’ fat attack is even less OK. Thank goodness I’m not the only one that spotted the ironic double-standard.

It’s yet another example of the feminist critique of the disgusting double-standard we see in the mass media. Men have a more diverse array of images that qualify as attractive (and even if they’re fat, bald and wrinkled, women still find them sexy) and women are forced to stuff themselves into a super skinny and narrow box of accepted ideal beauty.

The photos that inspired Brandon Davis’ fat tweets are posted below via Us Magazine.

February 24, 2010

Lady Gaga, the good and the bad

This clip was originally posted at BitchMedia last year. In an interview where Lady Gaga is asked about the sexually explicit lyrics in her songs and her sexually provocative persona, she calls the interviewer out on the ancient sexual double-standard that has existed between men and women for literally thousands of years. It’s so ingrained in our cultural consciousness that Jessica Valenti made it the title of a recent book, He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double-Standards.

If she’s singing about f*****, she’s a slut and a bad role model. If he’s singing about f*****, sticking his d*** in her ear or some other female orifice, slapping her on the a** or what have you, he’s a rock star, a rapper, a happenin’ celebrity…or just a regular guy. It’s a tired, restricting and one-dimensional double-standard that does not serve our society in any way. Good for Gaga for calling him out on it.

Ah, but then  it continues. Hmmm. If she’s making a critical statement like that, could she… be a (gulp) feminist?

Nope. Gaga loses points when she perpetuates the stereotype of the man-hating, gender separatist feminist who hates men ( and wants to cut their balls off). There are tons of stereotypes that keep people otherwise supportive of feminist values and goals away from the movement. Man-hating happens to be the number one reason.

Sadly, her former statement was trumped by the latter and proves that most people continue to know more about the stereotypes than they do about the history of the movement, the women and men that organized and sacrficed for rights most people take for granted and it’s core principles. Equality. Freedom.

February 13, 2010

Stop dissin' the vagina

I don’t know where to start.

Robert Pattinson, of Twilight fame, is featured in the March issue of Details Magazine fully clothed while surrounded by a slew of naked or near-naked women.

Typical (see my post from April 2009).

That, in itself, is worthy of a blog post but what riled me up even more was the asinine quote from the interview.

I really hate vaginas. I’m allergic to vagina. But I can’t say I had no idea, because it was a 12-hour shoot, so you kind of get the picture that these women are going to stay naked after, like, five or six hours. But I wasn’t exactly prepared. I had no idea what to say to these girls. Thank God I was hungover.

I hate vaginas! Really? He says this while lounging among tons of vagina. In the same week that John Mayer’s interview with Playboy revealed that his

dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock.

What is more pathetic and disheartening is the fact that these misogynistic losers will still continue to date scores of women that aren’t completely outraged by these statements and what it says about these guys.

pattinson3_ssh

January 29, 2009

Suzanne Somers on Oprah: pills, creams and injections

Suzanne Somers appeared on Oprah today and discussed her use of bioidentical hormones which she has sustained for a decade.

Not surprisingly, this fountain of youth can be obtained through extensive time, effort, and cost.  Yip, that sounds realistic for the average woman.  60 pills daily? Sure.  Estrogen daily? Bring it on. Progesterone two weeks a month? Check. A husband to make me my smoothie each morning to choke down those pills?  Yup.

Somers invited cameras into her home to show her daily routine, seen below. First she rubs hormone lotion on the inside of her upper arm, always estrogen and two weeks a month progesterone. She then injects estriol vaginally, which she did not let cameras see.

Then there are her pills, all 60 of them. 40 in the morning with a smoothie and the rest at night. She admits the pill quantity is extreme, saying, “I know I look like some kind of fanatic.”

Hey, you said it.

This is a prime example of the five feminist critiques of the beauty norm in our culture:

1. COST (Hello!): time and money

2. Double-standard: her husband doesn’t seem too tripped out about his age and he looks FAR older than she does.

3. Choice and control: embracing a cult of youth and thinness as established, designed and perpetuated by large institutions that profit from this standard measure of beauty

4. Physical and mental health: dangerous drugs, toxic cosmetics and toiltries, barbaric exercise and food practices

5. Maintaining other forms of inequality: ageism, racism, classism

October 29, 2008

Keith calls 'em out

Socialist! Socialist! “Redistributionist-in-chief.” Celebrity.

Oh, GOP. Keith calls you out on your double-standards. Swoon.

October 23, 2008

Campbell Brown calls out the double-standard

I appreciate Campbell Brown’s statement. Watch and listen.