Adverts: social justice education

Take that patriarchy!

Woke World

This article is taken from the May 2023 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

Dylan Mulvaney is the bravest woman I have ever seen. She has only been female for a year, and already she does it much better than the rest of us.

She has quickly cultivated a profitable career in advertising, and she is now the new progressive face of Bud Light, Oil of Olay and Nike. In her video for Nike, Dylan is seen prancing in a sports bra and leggings and almost falling over with the exertion. The only way it could have been more empowering is if she were simultaneously knitting and shopping for designer shoes on her iPhone. 

So-called “gender-critical feminists” claim that Mulvaney is mocking women through outdated sexist tropes. But there are all kinds of women in sports. Some find fulfilment by skipping around in a ditsy manner and wearing glitter. Others (such as that beautiful paragon of womanhood, Laurel Hubbard) prefer to lift weights and grunt. 

Years before Dylan Mulvaney, Dove skincare blazed a trail for this new socially progressive style of advertising. Their “Real Beauty” campaign showed us all that you don’t need to be physically attractive to use soap. 

Adverts are there to educate the masses about social justice

Today, most adverts on television feature mixed race couples, which teaches working class people to be less racist. Some even depict two men or two women in loving relationships, which is an important reminder that gays are just the same as normal people. 

Those who claim that advertisements exist in order to sell products are missing the point. Adverts are there to educate the masses about social justice. We all remember that landmark moment when the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) outlawed ads that promoted gender stereotypes. One of the ones they banned was for Volkswagen’s electric eGolf vehicle, which clearly showed a woman next to a pram and therefore dangerously implied that some women can be mothers. 

This kind of regressive imagery sets back the cause of feminism by decades. Instead of depicting women with prams, I’d like to see more of Dylan Mulvaney frolicking about in lipstick, gossiping about celebrity hairstyles and giggling deliriously. 

Take that, patriarchy!

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