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March 31, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

Ashamed of Your Armpits? Dove Says You Should Be

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Women are clearly stupid. Don’t get offended. I was just channeling the thoughts of the ad folks responsible for Dove’s cynical marketing campaign to convince women that their armpits (yes armpits) are fucking hideous.

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It’s just not enough that we are starving ourselves to look like victimized Ukrainian models, are ashamed of how our vajayjays look and smell, spend hard earned money to buy fake boobs, asses, chins, noses, nails, hair, and eyelashes and airbrush over whatever we can’t remold or chop off but now we need to worried about our pits? Unilever says yes!

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Using Gossip Girl actress Jessica Szohr (who) as the spokesdummy, Dove’s newest ad campaign targets women who feel that their underarms are unsightly. According to their research, involving a whopping 500 women, almost 100% of women abhor the sight of their underarms. Really? I had never even thought about it, until now. Wait, I still don’t care. It’s an armpit. Did they ask women who had nothing else going on, at all? Or maybe they were guided towards this shocking discovery in a marketing research session.

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No doubt, they gathered extremely self-conscious women and after plying them with mineral water, Crystal Lite, and self loathing in a secure conference room forced them to look at airbrushed pictures of pre-pubescent yet anorexic models (do I even need to say anorexic given the set up) wearing next to nothing exposing their beautifully airbrushed armpits in a world series of ridiculous poses.

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Watch Ivana Pukalotovka hailing a cab along the Champs-Élysées. See her reaching up to grab and impossible large bouquet tossed to her by her even younger friend who was lucky enough to get married on the exotic Caribbean island of Eluthera. Gaze on her smooth pits as she pins up and elaborate updo, because that is how we do. And watch her litheness reach for that last mango on the cart of some incredible dusty looking person of color surrounded by his dusty family, her alabaster arm pits shining like the midnight sun- a beacon to all.

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And then they asked them- in comparison, don’t you feel your pit just don’t measure up?- anyone who disagreed was probably called a lesbian or a feminist or both and told to leave.

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Maybe I am being too cynical. The article does say that for Mike Dwyer, Unilever’s US Marketing Director, the big question was, “How do we give them confidence?”. Are you sure it wasn’t, “How can we get more money or of these sad old cows.” Sure making women self conscious about their armpits is one way to raise confidence, but consider also maybe NOT pointing out natural occurrences (freckles, boobs, a figure, aging, skin, ethnicity, womanhood) and calling them flaws.

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There is a reason why the much-maligned pit spends half its time folded upon itself. It’s not for you or the viewing public to enjoy or get all hot and bothered over. It’s also nothing to be ashamed of. It’s supposed to regulate body temperature and expel contaminants. It works pretty well, too . And by the way, the problems women sighted with their pits “breakouts, discoloration, itchiness” during their little marketing research seem to be issues created by putting so much manufactured crap under there in the first place—not mention the waxes razors and creams. Please leave our pits alone marketing wizards, please. You have given us enough to worry about. What next? anal bleaching? Oh, wait. It’s already out there.

Want more. Check out HYKI Podcast Episode  3- Augmentation: Add Men

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