Monday, July 18, 2005

Listening to the radio

If you ever listen to the radio, no doubt at some point you’ve heard ads for The Shane Co. In their ad, a genial older man talks about their gems and well, then he perpetuates stereotypes and plops fear into the hearts of women and men. Things like, “She’ll know you bought a quality gem…and so will her friends.” Or “ALL women need a strand of pearls to enhance her wardrobe.” Etc, etc. Most often he boxes women into status driven, money hungry diva categories. I don’t think I’ve ever even thought to myself, “Damn, if I only had a strand of pearls, my life would be complete,” nor have I ever even thought for a moment that, “I wonder if my friends will recognize that my rubies are genuine red not some purple or pink cheap-ass ruby. They wouldn’t like me anymore if my rubies were cheap looking.”

I find their ads soooo, soooo, soooo demeaning. I know that advertising in general tries to scare us into conformity and it often perpetuates stereotypes, but there’s something about it being stated by a seemingly genuine guy just talkin’ to us. It almost makes the ads sinister to me. I mean, they’re nice and if you don’t think TOO hard, they’re not sinister…they’re just warm fuzzies filled with gemstones dripping out of the radio. Right? Right!