Friday, November 19, 2010

Commercials and Ads Are Evil

I don't really watch TV. Especially Arabic TV, and on the rare occasions that I do, it would either be National Geographic Channel, Jamie Oliver, or BBC's Top Gear (yes.. top gear). But.. you don't have to be a TV-aholic to notice the evil commercials and ads on there.

One ad that seriously gets under my skins is the Fair&Lovely ad. More than one actually, they keep making new ones every season.

So basically this is how it goes in all of their ads. A girl with a natural olive complexion and dull hair (notice how this isn't a shampoo ad) is pictured as being miserable and unsuccessful in whatever she does. She starts using fair&lovely, and suddenly.. she gets the dream job, everyone starts liking her, she starts smiling, her hair becomes gorgeous, and lets not forget her confidence and self esteem!!!!
Their advertising line is "Say yes to life!". So unless you're very white and very beautiful (good looking is not good enough), you have no life. You're worthless.

Now please tell me... what EVIL is this?!

This isn't about a company that wants to make more sales, its about making women feel uncomfortable in their own skin, and when I say skin, I don't mean the layer of soft tissue that covers their muscles and what not, I mean making them hate their surroundings and blame their failure on their lack of  unrealistic-beauty that is shown in most ads and commercials.

This would lead them to use more of the products that are being advertised, which are poisonous and do more harm than good, live with an obsession of being beautiful (and I think we've all seen where that could lead), etc.. etc.. and therefore living an unnatural, unhealthy life, unable to focus on bigger goals. Not to mention the emotional struggle they have to live through when comparing themselves with the models of said ads.

Why I mentioned the Fair&Lovely ad is because it's extremely obvious, pardon me, but you'd be a giant idiot if you didn't notice.

 I don't understand why no one talks about this??!!! Where is all that talk about empowering women? Where are all those silly feminists? The women's rights activists? The WORLD?! And they have the nerve to call hijab oppressive!!!!???
People are either seriously blind, or they can see, but they don't really care.

I could write three more posts about how this particular ad can harm society, including how a husband would look at his wife after seeing the ad and despise her for not looking as attractive as the model. How women would get judged based on their looks.. etc. (yes.. some people can be that superficial, even if it was only deep in their hearts), but I'd leave that to another day.

P.S I hope no one felt offended by the word "giant idiot", that was a metaphor, and I don't mean "you" per se, I mean people in general. Besides, when one is ranting on their blog, they have the right to use such words.


Fruitful Fusion said...

Assalaamu Alaykum,! Those ads (as well a whole bunch of other ones) are just pathetic! I strongly believe that the media has a huge role to play in the destructive nature of society these days. You're right. Where is everyone?

Love your blog BTW!

Mariam said...

Wa alykom alsalam!!!

Thank you! It's people like you who make me feel a tiny bit of hope.. thank God there are sane people who still live out there!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Londoneya said...

What about the Lux soap ad where a guy on a train smells a girl (who has been using the soap) sitting behind him and asks her to marry him and she's so happy!

And this other lux advert where a husband is basically saying that the soap saved his marriage because before he never used to notice her and now he's fallen in love with her all over again.

And another advert of a girl using some other soap and she's walking on the street and all the guys are smelling her and walking after her and she's just so happy - I'm sorry but they made her look like a prostitute!

I mean, who thinks of such ridiculous ideas! Me buying Lux has nothing to do with such messages btw :P

Little Auntie said...

Asalamu alaikum Mariam,

Just stumbled on your blog. I have to agree with this post. I hate all of the Fair and Lovely advertisements (and the like). The only reason why I'm happy that the 'world hasn't complained about the Fair and Lovely ones' is because I am so deeply deeply embarrassed and ashamed of them....I don't want them to know that in our Muslim world we have that.

I mean guys think about it- it's literally saying that if you're more 'fair', you're more beautiful. Like white is beautiful and hot and black is not. What the?! I mean, really? The color of one's skin?!! How could such a thing be aired in a Muslim country? It beats me, really.

The worst commercials though are the ones with the 'hijabi girls' who only wear hijab cuz their hair is ugly. Have y'all seen these? IstagfirAllah. It's like when they start using a nice shampoo, suddenly they can take the scarf off. (I saw like 2 of these- but that was several years ago, to be honest. I've stopped watching most t.v. channels as well, so I don't know if they are still being aired or not. Hope not!)

Okay, long comment, long rant....totally agree with you :)

Mariam said...

@Londoneya, I honestly can't understand why no one ever talks about this in the media!!! The bigger problem is that even the general public never notice such things!! Being brainwashed is the exact word to describe most people.

@Little Auntie, Wa alykom alsalam!
Thanks for stopping by!!
You would be surprised if I told you that there is racism even among "white" girls here in Egypt!!! The one with the fair complexion is considered the "beautiful" one, and therefore gets more marriage proposals, while a girl with an olive complexion is viewed as the "dark skinned" girl, even if she was pretty, she'd get comments like "she's pretty, its a shame she's dark skinned!!"
So you can imagine what this does to her self esteem..

¤•˚Zαìήαβ˚•¤ said...

agreed! its so frustrating! seriously those ads are just trash to your mind! not mentioning how idiotic it can get...I often find myself thinking "Oh my! somone shoot me !(x_X)

PS: lovely bloggie ! ^_^

Noor said...

I agree 100%
I mean not only a cream or a soap changes lives, the most important thing is that it makes you "whiter". What kind of a message are they sending?
Thanks for addressing this issue!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I just checked out that ad for Fair&Lovely since I never heard of it before. It's really sad that beauty campaigns make everyone want to be what they're not. I live in California and you're not good enough unless you have bleached hair and practically orange skin. The popular beauty ads here are for tanning creams and tanning salons or for hair dye that's "natural" (though I've never seen anyone with these natural hair colors).

I guess I never really though about it being the other way around in other places. Thanks for opening my eyes! I guess the grass is just brown everywhere as long as there are ads making us feel like $#!+ about ourselves.

Mariam said...

@Anonymous, I think the whole point is making you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, whether it was tanned or white! By making you feel insecure, they gain so much, and the scary part is, it's not all about making more profit!