Occasionally there are things that I see on television, and it takes me a while to figure out exactly what it is about it that I find disturbing in some way. This Nair commercial is one of those things.
So what is it exactly that I find troubling here? I’ve been kicking this around for over a week, uncertain of how exactly to proceed but unable to delete the bookmark. You could start with the fact that the women in the older commercial appear to be happy, and while thin do have a bit of body mass to them; whereas the dancers in the newer version are being overtly sexualized in a way that’s rather reminiscent of The Pussycat Dolls, and are being objectified far more than the former group. After you’ve seen it a few times, you’ll notice that the women in the ’70s version spend most of their time in a full or 3/4 length shot facing the camera, but the ’00s version spends most of its camera time on various body parts divorced from the dancers’ identities or in long shots with their faces completely out of focus.
Then I noticed this in the information in the sidebar:
A new commercial campaign, “Like Never Before,” developed by New York based The Joey Company, pays homage to the “Short Shorts,” and features a giant new “girl power” production number
Ah, it’s yet another piece of media that’s trying to sell me on the idea that being objectified while wearing a small amount of clothing counts as “girl power” just because they say it does. I knew it seemed familiar, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. They can keep saying it all they like, but I’m still never going to believe it until they start filming these things in a way that doesn’t visually contradict everything they’ve said.