I have been wanting to rant about those damn Tag/Axe commercials for AGES! I cannot stand those degrading, disgusting commercials. For a few years now, every Tag and Axe commercial depicts women as skinny, scantily clad, wild, animalistic, nymphomaniacs who cannot control their beast-like impulses when presented with a Tag or Axe scented man/boy. How such obviously disgusting and degrading images are allowed on television in the 21st century is beyond my understanding.
These commercials further this notion of woman as sexual being. They are telling men that this sexual animalistic woman is the type of woman they desire. This nymphomaniac is the woman they should want chasing after them. However, the most disturbing is that these commercials are saying that women are animals! Yes, we are animals. Not humans anymore, but animals. Roaring, chasing men as hunters chasing prey. This vision of sexuality honestly reminds me of Al-Ghazali's notion of female sexuality in which the woman is the hunter and the man the prey. These commercials, surprisingly, advocate Ghazali's idea of female sexuality. Though, I am sure this version of female sexuality is NOT exclusive to Ghazali. It is nonetheless extremely degrading and repulsive. It also extremely disrespectful.
However, this is also the culture in which women willing expose their breasts for the offensive and disgusting Girls Gone Wild videos. Ariel Levy so aptly calls this female chauvinism in her book Female Chauvinist Pigs. According to Levy the culture of pornography has provided the model of female sexuality today. Women believe that to be sexually alluring to men is a part of their sexuality. Women today confuse sexual power with power.
Ironically, as I write I am watching the show X-weighted, a reality show, in which one contestant tries to lose a certain amount of weight during the course of the show. The show I'm watching is following a 20 year old girl who aims to be able to wear a bikini in three months. At one point a "men's lifestyle" (is that what they call 'those' magazines now?) comes to ask her to be in the magazine once she has reached her goal. While explaining the process he tells her that her picture will appear at the back with the other girls they profile. According to this man they choose girls who are healthy, have a healthy lifestyle and diet, and take care of themselves. Meanwhile the example pictures they show are of half naked women, one with her bikini top coming off. Yes, that's healthy. And the contestant wants to model for them (though she doesn't think she will ever be that fit) because she thinks that will be a confidence booster. Again, this is another example of how such images are shown as the ones we as women should aspire to.
Just on a side note: Many women enjoy those Dove commercials. The Dove: Campaign for Real Beauty commercials have worked so well they've increased their sales. Although a cheap and sad ploy of using feminism to make money it has worked with women. However, other than the business aspect of it there is a very important warning that MUST go along with this campaign. Unilever is the company which makes Dove products. Unilever ALSO makes Axe products!!! Just so you know. Food for thought.