Sunday, February 02, 2003

Modeling Behavior-Josh's sidekick RW has this comment on the Super Bowl ads
I wish I could be as light-hearted about the remaining ads. Excluding only Jared the Subway Guy's wife, the rest of the commercials were like a flip through a lingerie catalog, enhanced for added lechery. The lowest had to be the ad that endlessly replayed footage of two curvaceous blondes while a throaty crooner panted, "Twins! Twins!" I really, really don't want to sound like a prude, but it felt like there should have been a bouncer at the door checking I.D. It was embarassing having my two young teenage male cousins in the same room; they're still forming their ideas about girls and sex, and the message from the T.V. on America's male holiday is "Women: For Entertainment Purposes Only."
The low was the soccer streaker, with the mud-wrestling beer debaters coming a close second, but the twins ad (and most anything from that brand that doesn't have the company president quietly talking about stuff) is in the hunt for the bronze. The beer ads are reaching new lows to the extent where I might have to stop watching sports. I've been cutting down on my sports watching, since Eileen's not a big sports fan, and I am likely morally healthier for it. The ads should come with a disclaimer "Pretty girl sold seperately." The Sweedish Bikini Team won't show up if you crack open the right beverage. I remember one sodapop company had an sendup of such ads, running a faux ad for Jookie-"a party in a can" with buff youths having fun on the beach. Flash to two sorry-looking TV-viewers on a couch with cans of Jookie-"Mine's busted."
It could have been more awkward. It could have been my young female cousins beside me. Parents--future parents--is this the conversation you dream of having with your daughters? "Well, honey, the company objectifies your sexuality to sell beer. Now, lots of guys will form their ideas about women from images like these, but don't let that affect how you feel about your body!" There are few things lovelier than a young woman of grace, self-respect, confidence, and intelligence, to whom is added the virtues of modesty and decorum. And, sadly, few role models for her in the culture.
You don't see girls you'd want to bring home to mother on the ads, for role models don't sell beer, swimsuit models do. Those virtues take time to see that don't fit into a 30-second ad. One sports car ad was talking about love at first sight-"you don't say 'Wow, look at the morals on that girl.'" It took me at least thirty minutes with Eileen. Bad boys and girls get the ads faster than the honorable ones-you see more of Allan Iverson that David Robinson, for few ad campaigns are going to be focused on the role models. Even then, they're often used to play the straight man to the rebels. The TV shows focus on the bad kids as well, for the good kids don't get themselves in the dillemas that make for easy drama.Dr. Byron's Rx-Get you kids away from a steady diet of the boob tube and into something where those virtues can be seen more readily.

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