Let’s Talk About Gender Role Reversal in Advertising

We don’t always click on BuzzFeed videos, but when we do, it’s deliberate and definitely not because the thumbnail was totally misleading.

Although a well-camouflaged play button didn’t rope us in this time, we’d stay and watch this gender-bendy, frame-by-frame reenactment of three controversial commercials even if it had. Fodder for intellectually stimulating conversation doesn’t just appear out of thin air, you know. And neither do greased-up dudes in swim trunks eating sandwiches seductively.

Turning three tropes on their heads — “pleasing your man” “hot girl and nerdy guy,” and “sexualized food” — this video rides on the presumption that we’ll find role reversal at once funny and uncanny: “Seeing men like this is ridiculous … so why isn’t it with women?” Except that it’s not really all that weird.

As several commenters pointed out, sex appeal is sex appeal is sex appeal, and as some others noted, it might have been too literal to have males mimicking females exactly. (Some other others noticed a disparity in hotness, but that’s beside the point.) It’s plain to see that the intention of the comparison was to bring awareness to how we’re acclimatized to imagery that objectifies women, but the buffoonery — in the acting and ad choices — rather overshadows any real social commentary on double standards.

So what’s a more effective way to get the message across? That’s where you come in. Would you recreate Tom Ford’s infamous Gucci ad with some extra-precise shaving and Clement Chabernaud, Gaspard Ulliel, Jamie Dornan, or whoever makes your skirt fly up? Or would your TV spots replace cheerleaders and chirpy ladies in tennis whites with muscly, bearded tampon salesmen?

Leave us your thoughts below.

[BuzzFeed]

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