-by Gabrielle Friesen, student staff
[A Gillette video showcasing men’s achievements- building the pyramids, sailing the globe, composing, and walking on the men, followed by a man applying deodorant in his bathroom. The narrator talks about sweat played a part in all these great achievements, but odor does not to be a problem with Gillette]
Dudes! Your dude sweat has allowed for every worthwhile achievement of the human race! But don’t let your dude sweat make you smell! Continue to dude sweat while smelling less like sweat, so you can continue making all those Grand Acheivements, dudes!
Ignoring the fact that:
Women worked on pyramids. Many worker’s gravesites have contained women’s skeletons. Women were present in the construction of the pyramids, whether it be something as immediate as interacting with construction materials in some way, to growing the food to keep all the Sweaty Dudes on their feet.
You know who else was pretty bomb in the world of aviation? Amelia Earhart. Or the all women Russian 588th night bomber squadron, which made 24,000 combat flights and dropped 23,000 tons of bomb between the battle of Stalingrad and the fall of Berlin. Or Bessie Coleman, the first African American to earn a pilot’s license. But really, only the Wright brothers made a Grand Achievement.
Many of those Sweaty Dudes composing masterpieces only were able to due to funding from women patrons.
All those sweaty dudes discovering “New Worlds” went on to be complicit in genocide and occupation.
Women did not get to create many Grand Achievements because men restricted them to the “private sphere,” where they got to raise 5-8 kids instead of raising monuments, circumnavigating the globe, walking on the moon, etc., generally with little to no help from the dudes who were off making Grand Achievements and had no time share the workload. All those women were sweating while they washed, cooked, and raised the next generation of Dudes who would go off to make Grand Achievements. But women don’t get Grand Achievement deodorant adds. We get:
[The first video has a bunch of women in white camis showing their armpits, while the commercial says that women can now show off their shaved armpits, and use Dove deodorant too soothe pain caused by shaving. The second video is composed entirely of white women getting prepared to go out, trying on clothes, etc while words on screen let the viewer know that women can now happily show off their underarms and wear party dresses if they use Dove deodorant.]
Ladies! You all must shave your underarms! Dudes coming back from Great Achievements don’t want to look at your armpit hair! You owe it to those dudes! Don’t question beauty standards! You can only look pretty and wear pretty things if you shave, which apparently hurts/is damaging to your body, so buy our product so you can continue doing that thing that is maybe painful but is now less painful!
Additionally, several articles about the “Homage” Gillette commercial detail the effort and steps that went into making the commercial, discussing it as if it were a work of art, or at least something worthy of praise. Of note where the “meticulously choreographed-perfect location, era-authentic costumes, 35mm film and an official Wright brothers’ plane replica.” Would a woman’s deodorant commercial ever be discussed similarly? Nope. Would a woman’s deodorant commercial ever use something as awesome as an official replica of the Wright brother’s plane? Nope. Women don’t get awesome, official things, we get generic show-your-shaved-armpits commercials. Every single time.
Ladies don’t get commercials about our grand achievements, either because men didn’t allow us them, or because men don’t value our achievements. If a deodorant commercial ever features sweaty Queen Boudicca razing London, and stabbing some sweaty dudes trying to take her country, I’d buy their entire stock immediately.