I am not a feminist. I may listen to too much female degrading rap music to even spew those hypocritical words. But I can not sit and turn a blind eye to the insensitive idea of ’empowerment’ that is the new ad campaign for Summer’s Eve. A vertical hand as a vagina that is clearly playing off racial stereotypes? These commercials are setting the internet world ablaze! Why is it that so many women are feeling stereotyped and objectified by a brand that is supposed to be selling products to woman that help take care of their beloved lady parts? Maybe because behind the racism and utter crass, this brand and commercial is telling me that my vagina is dirty and that I am completely oblivious of how to properly clean myself and thus adding shame to the insult.
While it can be argued that every great battle and war was because of a beautiful woman, the sole fact that the commercial calls my vagina “it”, is gag worthy. You are wrong, Summer’s Eve, my vagina is not powerful and it is also not an object. Yes, men may have fought and died in pursuit of it. But little did they know and obviously you too, in reality it is I that is powerful.
Although I appreciate the brand trying to relate to ethnicities, I think we can all agree that what is between a woman’s legs does not differ too much between the races. Actually, when I think of feminine hygiene products, race doesn’t come to mind at all. The Latina hand-vagina had a thick accent that honestly didn’t sound like an authentic Latina woman. Not to mention her Spanish mini-monologue about a leopard thong.. On the other hand (no pun intended), the African American hand-vagina had hairstyles ranging from straight to colored to wildly curly and there was even a neck roll involved. What executive found this appropriate or even necessary?
Honestly as tacky as this ad is, I believe it shines a light on a bigger issue. It is no secret that the advertisement world is not exactly the most wholesome and fair place. But if the big wigs are trying to sell their products to different demographics, would it not be wise to have those demographics represented in the board room? It is no surprise that many of the country’s largest advertising agencies have been under fire for years for discriminating hiring practices. And while that is an issue for another day, one would only hope that at least one ‘mamacita’, ‘homegirl’, or ‘BFF’ could have put a stop or at least been a voice of reason to this distasteful advertisement.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Noriah Williams is currently a third-year student-athlete majoring in Journalism at Michigan State University.