The first time I ever saw a commercial for Axe body spray was nearly a decade ago, before my self-love journey began. Even whilst in the mindset that I was a woman and therefore simply an object to men, I was still disgusted by the thought of an ad campaign capitalizing on this paradigm. In case you are fortunate enough to have dodged any advertising by Axe body spray, let me enlighten you:
“Spray more, Get more?” Ew. That’s definitely on purpose, right? Or am I the only one who gets that disgusting innuendo?
Most of the ads are like that. The body spray evidently turns any man (whether he be handsome, ugly, nerdy, awkward, whatever) into such an irresistible sex object that all of the scantily clad women (seemingly represented by only one body type) within a hundred mile radius lose all sense and purpose and do anything to sleep with him. According to Wikipedia, AKA the Internet oracle, this is no accident.
From 2003, Axe advertisements portrayed various ways the products supposedly helped men attract women. In 2004, the advertising for the Pulse fragrance showed how it supposedly gave geeky men the confidence to dance to get women. This was followed by Touch, Unlimited, Clix, and in 2007, Vice was marketed on a theme of making “nice” women become “naughty”. (Emphasis mine.)
Wow. This product is actually intentionally being marketed as one that can manipulate women to sleep with men. Gross.
A few years after I came across the Axe commercials, I found that Dove beauty products were now promoting healthy self-esteem for girls in their “Campaign for Real Beauty.” I found this so refreshing. Finally, a company was combating the pressure society puts on girls to look and be a certain way (very similar to the girls in the Axe commercials: beautiful, sexually promiscuous, and stupid.) I championed Dove. I was so excited. Check this out:
Aww. I feel so good inside after that. You know what, Axe? Screw you! I’m more than my body! I am not an object! I am a beautiful woman!
It’s so good to see one company fiercely combating the misogynistic garbage put out by another company–
Oh I’m sorry, what was that?
Ahem. Um. Ladies and gentlemen, this just in: AXE AND DOVE ARE OWNED BY THE SAME COMPANY.
Nope. It’s true.
Click here for a full list of Unilever products. Like Dove and Axe.
Ugh. I don’t know; anyone else feel totally cheated? Like we can’t trust anyone who seems to be fighting the good fight? What are your thoughts?