Posts Tagged ‘Feminine Hygiene Products’

What a Douche!

Funny Soap CartoonYou’re a smart woman who’s been loyal to the same company for several years. You’ve worked your ass off and given it your best shot. But the pay stinks like a rotting carcass.

So you make your way to the boss’ office, mentally preparing a convincing argument as to why you deserve a promotion. Directly asking for what you want shows initiative. What else should you do to get ahead in today’s tough job market? Douche, apparently.

Thanks to Brooke (a reader who left me a comment and link in my previous post), I found out about a terrible Summer’s Eve ad published in the October issue of Women’s Day magazine. Larry Knowles from AolNews did a great job of dissecting the idiocy of the ad, but I’m going to weigh in, too.

Seriously, this ad is so backwards, the ‘genius’ marketing team probably still thinks the denim-on-denim look is still trendy. Wake up! It’s 2010! I mean, haven’t you watched the movie, Pleasantville? Progressive thinking works, people!

The ad features a large photo of a confident smiling woman in a business suit with her arms crossed. You can take her seriously. And the heading in large green letters says: “Confidence at Work: How to Ask for a Raise”. Oh, goody – we’re going to find out some great tips for career advancement, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

The first oh-so-practical tip for “getting your mind in the right place” is to “start with your usual routine and all the things you do to feel your best, including showering with Summer’s Eve Feminine Wash or throwing a packet of Summer’s Eve Feminine Cleansing Cloths into your bag for a quick freshness pick-me-up during the day.”

We Interrupt You Now for a Major WTF Moment

According to the ad, when asking for a raise, my mind should be on my cooch. Hmm. Double hmm. Shouldn’t I be concentrating on reasons why I deserve the job? Unless I’m a porn star or I work for some lowlifes who promote women based on booty-call performance, I don’t think my vagina will be a discussion topic.

Sure, lots of ad campaigns magnify fears and insecurities, but I think it’s wrong to suggest that women should worry about whether or not their feminine odour is offensive when they have their mind set on asking for a raise. Some marketing pigs only care about turning their wallets into a stuffed turkey with gravy.

Maybe Summer’s Eve should team up with Charmin. I can see it now: “Confidence at Work: How to Break the Glass Ceiling”. The practical tip would be to “start the day off right with a feminine wash. And don’t forget to wipe your bottom well after Number 2 using soft Charmin toilet paper because you already deal with enough shit at work.”

Shame on Summer’s Eve for not having the common sense to put the brakes on this ad before it went public. And shame on Women’s Day magazine for giving the middle finger to its readers.

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Talkin’ Periods. Enter Exclamation Marks!

First thing’s first – Happy Mother’s Day! Hope you spent quality time with your mom, called her, wrote a letter to her, or at least thought about her. To all those women who’ve struggled, sacrificed their wants, and exemplified unconditional love: I salute you!

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Periods. This isn’t the grammar police knocking down your punctuation doors. And it’s definitely not the Avon lady. Someone else is stopping by – your Monthly Friend (who apparently needs a condescending nickname).

It’s time to talk dirty – period dirty. Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis, there will be blood…just not the kind you were expecting. And no bowling pins are involved.

Before I go into how women perceive their periods and the media’s strong influence, let’s see how menstruation has been referred to as colloquially.

Redrum, Redrum!

Cher Horowitz from Clueless gets off the hook when she gives Mr. Halli the excuse that she was ‘surfing the crimson wave’. Crudely, having your period is also known as being ‘on the rag’. And then there are the nosebleed science textbooks that call the first period oh-so-fun names like menarche. (Zzz)

Even the word ‘period’ has negative connotations. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Stop. Right now. Stop. You’re in your period. Stop. (It’s like an annoying telegram!)

Women, when you’re in ‘That Time of the Month’, what do you think of? Cramps? Bloating? For some reason, girls are taught from a very young age to fear and loathe getting their periods. They’re told that it’s messy, painful, and uncomfortable. Special over-the-counter medications like Midol have been formulated to help women get through it.

For many years, females have been ashamed of this normal bodily function. Instead of celebrating this, we’re taught to essentially hate it.

Miracle on Elm Street

In television commercials, we see people in lab coats pouring blue liquid over pads to show us how well they absorb.

There are also women who testify that they’re able to play sports and resume normal activities when they’re in their periods because of pads or tampons.

‘Period’ical

Many years ago pads were bulky…like wearing a pillow between your legs. Now they’re ultra thin and even come in petite, regular, and longĀ  lengths. Tampons have transformed over the years, too, with a sleeker silhouette and with the invention of applicators.

Ever since I got my period and became a member of this ‘secret society’, I’ve noticed the packaging of pads and tampons. Years ago wrappers were usually pink. How stereotypically girly! Now, you might think that wrappers aren’t important. After all, you just throw them in the garbage anyway, right? Wrong. There’s been an evolution (and a revolution) that speaks volumes of a feminist movement.

After seeing pink and discrete wrappers all the time, I found it interesting when one day, Always started putting out pastel wrappers in non-traditionally feminine colours. Interesting! I sensed a change, and it was one I liked.

Rainbow Brite

Fast forward several years, Marty McFly. A few months ago, when I walked down the aisle for feminine-hygiene products in the pharmacy, something caught my eye. It was a rainbow. It was vibrant. It was U by Kotex.

Bright yellow, blue, pink, and green wrappers in fun boxes? They stand apart from their competitors because instead of trying to remain discreet, they’re flashing us!

Traditionally, talking about periods or drawing attention to your period isn’t very ladylike. I love how U by Kotex throws this out the window. (Not talking about something just leads to misunderstandings and even unnecessary fears.)

Check out the awesomely sarcastic 46-second U by Kotex commercial:

And here’s another goodie. At just 31 seconds, it does a great job at poking fun of absurd tampon commercials:

Fellow Canadians, you can get a free U by Kotex sample. (I requested mine.) And if you’re American, go here for the freebie.

What do you think about the U by Kotex commercials? Are you also intrigued with how this company took a blatant stand against commonly unchallenged gender stereotypes? Will you be supporting this by switching brands? Or do you think that it’s just another marketing strategy to make money and that it has no other agendas?

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