Monday, June 18, 2007

All I Need is a TV Show...

I meant to post about this on Friday, but I got sidetracked b the whole "8 Facts" thing. By the way, thanks again to daydreamsupercollider for tagging me, and to everyone who commented here. Y'all make me feel so loved!

Normally, award shows don't do much for me. I've always thought they were an exercise in narcissism for a group of people whom we already pay way to much attention to. Besides, the people who really deserve attention (i.e. the technicians, editors, make-up and costume artists) get their awards at a banquet the night before the big gig, and they never get the recognition I think they deserve.

But I watched the Daytime Emmy Awards Thursday night for two reasons: Bob Barker and Paula Deen.

Bob Barker won for best game show host, right after CBS aired his final Price is Right. I thought Ellen Degeneres did a great job with the presentation. Paula Deen was nominated for and won two awards, and she's our hometown girl. I'm sure she can be ruthless and bitchy, but I just can't help loving that woman. Even if she does use too much butter and sugar.

What really stood out for me during the broadcast, though, were the ads. I realize most daytime programming is aimed at home-makers and stay at home moms. I'm pretty much a "stay-at-home" mom myself. But it's interesting to see what advertisers think of their primary demographic, women aged 25-54.

What would aliens think of women in our society if they only saw the following commercials:

Lean Cuisine
A commercial for an anti-depressant
Covergirl lip colour
medication for Restless Leg Syndrome
Diet Ocean Spray
and Frontline Flea and Tick Medication

It says to me that I am overweight, even though I always feel like I'm dancing a jig. I'm depressed, desperately in need of lipstick to make me feel better, and I also apparently have a hankering for cheaply produced clothing and electronics. Some of the other ads included hair colouring, antacids, various juices, cleaning products and diapers. I and a lot of other women supposedly need a lot of help. If I believed everything I saw in those ads, I might throw myself off the nearest bridge.

I didn't see a single ad for a pick-up truck, tools, home improvement stores or beer, all things that I happen to like. The only "non-girly" ad I saw was from Hebrew National, basically saying that since their hot dogs are kosher, they aren't made from the hind end of a cow.

I really was just astonished, though, at the number of weight control products that were advertised during the show. Everything from diet food to diet drugs, plus products to make our thighs look slimmer, and our faces look younger. When did it become NOT okay for me to get older? When did the world decide that I can't be one of those apple-faced, ample-hipped grannies, but instead need to be kayaking and rock climbing well into my sixties, skinny as a twig, with a face frozen permanently into an expression of either surprise, or no expression at all? Why does being a woman mean I have to be in competition with everyone else, to be the best mom, the best wife, the best PTA parent?

Damn it, I want to get old on my terms. I stopped colouring my hair recently. I'm thirty-two, and I've had a white streak in my hair for quite a while. I decided that I liked it, I earned it, and L'Oreal can kiss my ass.

However, I'm not quite ready to give up my MAC cosmetics yet. Maybe next year, when I decide to take up kayaking.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jen :)

lol, indeed - if aliens came, they would just drink some water here, then continue looking for intelligent life in space- hehehe

I'v had a grey streak since school days. I always thought it was cool though :)

auntie barbie said...

WOW! Your in rare form today.
Your only 32, why are you thinking about being an "apple faced Granny?" Forget about these things untill your my age (45), and then I will be happy to discuss "aging issues" with you, but not untill then, because it will just depress you, and take all the fun out of the phone call I will get from you saying, "you won't believe", or "did you know", or my personal favorite "my 26 year old doctor just told me".
I have been a huge fan of Paula Deen's for years, and I agree she uses alot of butter, but without, it just doesn't taste the same. You need to read her book "It Ain't All About the Cookin" I think you will enjoy it.

Jen said...

Oh, c'mon, auntie barbie, are you telling me you've never imagined what your life would be like when you're older, or what you'd look like? I always imagined my self as one of those grannies with a wrinkled up face, and a white braid, sitting comfortably on my porch. I suppose I'm taking the ad thing personally because my self esteem is low! I just hate feeling good about my self, only to have these messages of "You're not good enough, you need our product to make you better" hurled at me. Yeah, I know. Gripe, gripe, gripe. I'm entitled to gripe occasionally. *grin*

Anonymous said...

"Damn it, I want to get old on my terms."

Jen, that's it in a nutshell... Advertisers know the formula so well they are practically shaping your world for you. If more women were as intelligent and self-directed as you are in noticing the blatant and aggressive tactics of advertisers, then all these companies would be outta business, and ad agencies along with them. Just think for a minute why Paris Hilton is so famous that she almost trumps the President with headlines...she is a walking advertisement. More and more North American society is breaking down this way into a consumerist nation that is force fed it's wants and needs.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

As long as the advertising execs are men and botoxed superwomen types we're sunk. I suppose we should be grateful there weren't ads with women pulling their brand of tampons out of their mountain climbing pack to convince their friends that their brand is better. Or, my personal favorite, feminine washes. That smell like what? New car interior??

Anonymous said...

ok, now that you all got that of your chests..

..who wants to buy my new 'Smile enhancer'? You merely have to kfnsfscn. It's copywrited, so you have to pay to say it.

Anonymous said...

Your life wouldn't be normal without it. If you don't buy it, you will be alone.


Jen said...

RC: New car interior? ROFLMAO. Well, that whole "feminine wash" thing really is aimed more at guys, so that fragrance might make sense. RC, you should market that!! "Make your hubby feel like he's got a brand new model!"

I once saw an old ad (like 40's-50's era) for Lysol, the old kind in the brown bottle. It was in a women's magazine, and it was being marketed for, erm...yeah, ouch.

taqdeer: You're hilarious. Bunch of women griping about being marketed down to, and you come in here trying to make us all smile. Thank you, dear!

Auntie Barbie, I've actually got the book, and have read it. My MIL is going to borrow it this week.


auntie barbie said...

I can actually say that I have never thought about what I would look like as I got older. I have never been that concerned about how others see my outer image. I’m more concerned how they see the “inner” me. That’s not to say that I don’t care about how I look. I wear makeup and color my hair, but it’s to make myself feel good. It really does say something about our society though that women today cannot get ahead unless they are “beautiful”, and then being attractive means your brainless. We really haven’t come very far, especially when there are commercials that tell us to “Have a HAPPY Period”. Please, this was written by a man. What woman do you know that ever had a happy period?

Dad said...

I never knew of any married man that had "a happy period" either.

The goal of advertising is to sell the product or service no matter what it is. Their most effective and the most easy to use is to use the image rather than the product to make the sale. You advertise by creating a negative image of anybody that doesn't use the product or service causing anxiety or fear for the individual to be some sort of social outcast. Even politics in recent years has used this tactic to sell legislation and government policy. Fear is a great motivator.

Saphyre Rose said...

All advertising sucks. And you are bombarded with it no matter where you go. Up route 26 every few feet is a billboard, pick up a magazine, from Maxim to Southern Lady, it is filled with more ads than articles.
I got a subscription of Paula Deen magazine and I don't mind her ads because I can usually get something for my kitchen!!!
As you know, I am a Wiccan and we see the stages of a woman's life differently.
According to the story, a woman reaches past her Mother stage and enters into the Crone stage when her body stops being "able" to get pregnant or in other words, menopause.
With my cancer, I had menopause at 22, a bit early to be a Crone, wouldn't you say?
I asked Susun Weed if I was a crone at 22 and she said to me, "are you still mothering a child or feel that time has given you enough information to become a "Wise woman"?
I told her I would never be as smart as my mother no matter how old I grew.
She said since I was smart enough to know that, let's call me a Pre-Crone.
So as a Pre-crone close to her time of being a true crone, I can tell you age means nothing.
I am 46 years old and have lived at least 10 lives in 40 years.
Life is to be lived not feared by looking in a mirror.

NEVER, believe that someone who does not know you knows better for you.
Ad execs will be sitting next right next to lawyers in the line for Iraq if it were up to me.

Just think how much happier and healthier we would be if there were no ads for beauty products that make us feel we will never measure up to this lipo sucked/botoxed model or we need these medicines that give such a vague description of why you should take them, you demand them from your doctor.
Do you feel depressed? Do you wish you had a 4 hour erection?
Come on!