The feminine mystique

Gah! I saw two heinous commercials tonight, back to back, both chock-o-block with dated associations of what constitutes femininity. Ironically, the commercials aired during a syndicated episode of The Office, the one where Phyllis is flashed in the parking lot and Michael, in an attempt to prove he understands women, calls an appreciation meeting replete with misogynistic faux pas.

Commercial #1 is a spot for Centrum vitamins, certain formulations of which are designed especially for women. The ad features a series of other things designed especially for women: a jewelry box that morphs into a romance novel, and then an eyelash curler and some other thing. The other thing, amazingly, was not a tampon.  Wow. Gotta get me some Centrum to go with my jewelry box-slash-bodice ripper.

Commercial #2 is for 1-800-FLOWERS (I think). A man leads a woman to a couch and asks her to open her eyes. When she does, she is so moved to see the (stunningly unimaginative roses-and-baby’s-breath) vase of flowers that he purchased that she tears up a bit. Her feelings are personified by a glowing white mass which we are given to understand is her “warm, fuzzy feeling.” Ick. The thing that’s especially egregious about the last ad is that it’s obviously trying to target the recipient of the gift, not the desired gift giver, aka the guy.

This just makes me wonder about the TBS demographic. It must skew older than I thought. Seriously, the commercials tonight were on par with the ones I’m obliged to suffer through on Lifetime when Project Runway is on.

**Also, ha! The number one Google result for a Project Runway search is the Bravo site. Suck it, Lifetime.


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