Day 12, Part One: Cosmo’s Advertisers Obviously Flunked Chemistry

I’m not a whiz at chemistry. However, I do know enough about the periodic table of the elements to call bullshit on this ad from Whisk:

Whisk seems to be using ‘lady Science”: Like numerous skincare products, they ar using pseudo-sciency stuff in order to make their product seem better than their competitors. For the best explanation of “lady science” in skincare, look no further than Ms. Sarah Haskins:

Wisk, and the ad agency that commissioned this seem to think that their main users (obviously women with children) don’t know shit about chemistry, and thus would know that Particulates, Proteins, and Carbohydrates ARE NOT ELEMENTS. I happen to have an awesome group of lady friends, who ar pursuing degrees in chemistry, public policy, biological science, environmental science and other Hard Subjects that Cosmo (and Whisk) don’t seem to think ladies can do. They all immediately made fun of Wisk’s TV version of this ad. And these co-eds majoring in Hard subjects, and also studying up for the MCATS? They all read Cosmo. Way to alienate your target audience there.

Along with the belief that saying some vaguely-sciencey things in ads will make women run and buy this product, because everyone knows that women can’t understand science unless it’s about things like cooking or cleaning, Wisk decided that they didn’t have enough gender stereotypes in this ad. They also had to make a joke about how little girls can be so fussy and messy. Because god forbid a little girl decides to play in the mud, or thinks that frozen spinach is icky*. Everyone knows that little girls are supposed to be pretty, wear flouncy dresses, and never get dirty. Because if they don’t, and like playing in the mud, everyone knows that they will grow up to be lesbians, who drive Subaru Outbacks.**

Wisk might as well have the copy read “Don’t worry, she’ll grow out of this tomboy phase once she enters middle school and starts to develop. Until then, use our new detergent! It uses Science! How does it work? Oh, don’t worry your pretty little heads over it. It’s some very difficult science that our science-y scientists came up with”.

I can think of no better way to finish this post than give Ms. Haskins the last word on laundry products:

*Seriously, don’t just thaw out spinach and serve it. Thaw it, drain the water out, and put it in an omlette. Yummy.
**I played in the mud as a child, and drive an Outback as a grownup. Oh, and I like cock. Pardon me for ruining your stereotypes.

This entry was posted in Advertising, Cosmo, Funny Stuff, Heteronormativity, Print is dead, Sexism, Women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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