Clean and Dry Intimate Wash (clearly, NSFW)

As self-explanatory as the title for this blog may be, I still have NO IDEA why I am writing this. To me, the product I am about to discuss should not exactly exist.

I thought it was all very basic. You get what you are given, and you embrace you lady garden. No garden is the same. Some of us are all orange trees and tidy rows of flowers – and others amongst us prefer thorn bushes and weeds. Heck, some of us just keep it bare.

But this article – and in particular, the product it is discussing – made my head explode.

This ‘product’ is called the ‘Clean and Dry Intimate Wash’, and is designed to make your vagina sparkle.

Oh, no, wait. That’s vajazzling. THIS product actually bleaches your bits to make them appear ‘whiter’. Congratulations on successfully encapsulating sexism AND racism, all in one 30 second commercial!

You want to see the ‘commercial’? Sure. But heed this warning: you will be sorely tempted to bang your head on the nearest desk at LEAST fifty times upon viewing:

I can just see the marketer’s thoughts now: ‘Sad, attractive girl… needs to be the right SHADE of white – and make sure she’s wearing a white t shirt, and sitting on a white couch – and she is SAD because her lady garden is too DARK.’

They even included the sad music at the start. What a thoughtful touch.

And afterwards, she’s HAPPY. BECAUSE HER LABIA AND VAGINA AND ALL HER OTHER RELEVANT SEXUAL PARTS ARE NOW WHITE. NOT BLACK. WHITE. CORRECT ANSWER. BYE BYE. SEE YOU LATER.

I’m sorry, but did the world go slightly INSANE? I mean, I took vajazzling. I didn’t get it, but I accepted it, because, well, people are idiots. Labioplasty? Again, didn’t get it – but cosmetic surgery is everywhere…..

…..But this? BLEACHING ONE’S SEXUAL ORGANS BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT THE RIGHT COLOUR? Excuse me, but what form of dumb fuckery is this? When did we wake up and decide that THIS WAS A GOOD THING TO DO? I did not vote on this at the last Sisterhood Meeting! I vehemently reject all concepts of altering or changing my parts to suit someone else’s skewed idea of what is an acceptable form of ‘beauty’!

I have nothing else. I need to go lie down.

 

 

How do you feel about drinking Pussy?

But really, how do you feel about drinking pussy?

Oh, not THAT sort of pussy! No. God, don’t be so FILTHY. I meant the energy drink, clearly! No double entendres here, thanks very much. See, look, THE DRINK!

Straight from the Pussy website, apparently, “the name Pussy shocks and demands attention – that’s the point. Inhibition is a recipe for mediocrity. This is a premium energy drink named with confidence.”

Ah – so I am *supposed* to be shocked! Well, that’s okay then. Funnily enough, it doesn’t mention anything about me also feeling vaguely homicidal, and wanting to punch the creators in the face. Guess they had a limited word count.

The other part that I find vaguely hilarious (in between me head butting the wall, that is). “This is a premium energy drink named with confidence.”

Confidence? Really?! See, I would have gone with stupidity, sexism, idiocy, and downright blatant misogyny before I would have said “confidence”. Maybe they were confident in their idiocy? Confident in their ability to laugh off the ridiculous amount of sexism they’ve managed to pack into one marketing campaign?

After trawling through their website, I’ve reproduced a few of snappy marketing one liners on there for your amusement:

“Pussy starts conversations. It believes in having a good time as often as possible”

“Looking for Pussy? To find out which bars, venues and stores stock Pussy near you, call us on 020 7348 9870.”

“Pussy is a 100% natural drink. No nasty chemicals and nothing manufactured. It is made for people looking for a natural alternative.”

“Pussy is spontaneous, entertaining, optimistic and fun.”

(All quotes taken from the Pussy website)

(Also, if you’re my mother and you’re reading this, please skip the next paragraph).

Now, let’s theoretically pretend that this double meaning is ACTUALLY trying to refer to a woman’s genitals for a minute, and compare what they’ve said with the truth.

Is my vagina spontaneous? Only when it decides to send me my period a week early, or late. So I guess you can have that one, Pussy.

Is my vagina entertaining? Only since I taught it how to play the piano.

Is it optimistic? God yes. Sometimes my vagina and I just sit up late into the night, talking. And I’m all, “God, my life is SO SHIT”, and my vagina is then all, “Nawww, Jess, cheer up! Be happy! You’ve got such a good life!”. Yep. My vagina is definitely optimistic.

Is is fun? Of course. Sometimes my vagina and I just go out for coffee, and get our nails done together, and then we sit on the beach.. oh, wait. I’m thinking of this ad now:

Does my vagina start conversations? Perhaps not mine specifically, but I do know that, according to popular culture, it’s all that men seem to talk about. So again, correct. Though personally, my vagina’s not that chatty.

And if you’re looking for my vagina? You probably won’t find it by calling that number.

But, in all serious, and vagina jokes aside, this entire ad campaign and product is just foul. It’s disgusting, it’s stupid, and it’s trying to play into a market of double meanings and rude jokes.

Not only does it manage to take sexism in advertising to an entire new level, but it also does so whilst claiming that it is pushing the boundaries, and by not being “mediocre”.

The creator (a man, obviously), Jonnie Shearer, obviously did not consider the thousands of women who are going to be serving drinks behind a bar, or simply standing beside someone as they order a “pussy”. He is obviously never going to be in the position of being an 18-year-old bar maid on a busy Saturday night, when some sleazy guy leans over and asks her for a pussy. I’m not saying that Jonnie Shearer caused these situations – but by god, he most certainly had a hand in furthering the instances of them.

All things aside, it is NOT okay for this sort of post-modern, retro sexist, double-entendre stinking pile of crap to exist. It simply isn’t. Anyone with half a brain can see that their advertising campaigns are blatantly sexist, and if it was up to me, I would show Jonnie Shearer the world that exists outside of his male-dominated perspective. A world where rape exists, a world where “pussy” is actually sold in the sex trade, and a world where woman have to be confronted with their genitals treated as a form of humour for this “natural energy drink”.

And just in case you were in any doubt about whether this product, and their advertisements, are sexist? Here are a few more posters advertising the drink:

You could argue that, perhaps, these ads are empowering. I mean in the last one the woman is clearly getting *something* out of it. And in the others, all the women seem to be having a pretty good time.

But there’s a few things I’d like to point out. In all but one ad, the man is holding the drink- ie, he is drinking the pussy (and in the last ad, he appears to be literally doing that). The woman is always naked, the man is always clothed – he’s a position of power, and she’s in a state of undress (which, coincidentally, is how uncomfortable some women might feel after seeing these ads. Like they’re naked). And finally? The women are all typically attractive (as are the men – but the men aren’t naked). Yet another body image issue for women to be concerned about. The only women deemed suitable to have ‘attractive pussies’ are slim, have light skin, and are young.

I’ll leave the final word to the advertising guru, Don Draper.

“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is okay. You are okay.”

Pussy seem to have forgotten this while they were busy trying to create attention for themselves. Controversy wanes, publicity wanes, but happiness doesn’t. And who on earth is this drink supposed to make happy? Not women. Not the majority of men. That leaves them a very small market.

Don Draper isn’t pleased with you, pussy.

Phallic bottles: A follow up post

Because I appear to have an ongoing interest in perfume bottles and phallic imagery, I was intrigued to learn that the BASA (British Advertising Standards Authority) banned the ‘Oh! Lola’ advertisement featuring Dakota Fanning. In the wake of this, I thought I’d glance across the big bad world of Google Images to see what other phallic bottles I could find.

Lucky me.

Sometimes, the phallic images are clever. Like this one:

Sometimes, they’re pretty pathetic:

(I mean, really? A rocket? Could you be any more obvious?!)

And then there’s the rest:

Because nothing says sexy to me like a handbrake does….

Phallic imagery, and their poor cousin, ejaculation imagery, are featured *everywhere* in advertisements. Just in case you wanted escape sex, penises, vaginas and boobs for a minute of your life- you can’t! Not even with your lipstick!

I often wonder what it would be like to be asexual in a world full of advertising. To not desire sex, and yet have it surround you all day, every day. Kind of strange.

I’m somewhat impressed that the BASA has taken the time to ban the Oh! Lola ad- but it’s just one of many ads that use this sort of imagery to sell products. The problem with this ad was the perceived age of the girl involved (although she was 17 at the time, the advertisement made her appear a lot younger).

If you want to read a bit more about phallic imagery (or just sexual imagery in general) check out this post, and this post.

Phallic bottles and crotch shots

There’s something about giant perfume bottles that just make me want to pretend I have a huge penis. Well, according to Marc Jacobs, that’s what I should be thinking, anyway.

I took time out from my regular schedule (so, y’know, I stopped wandering the streets of Melbourne occasionally yelling out “OBJECTIFICATION”, and “SEXISM” at random people) to read Cosmopolitan magazine. I know. I know. But I couldn’t help it- my housemate brought the magazines into the house, and I couldn’t resist.

Anyway, after leafing through a few pages (okay, fine, a few issues), I noticed a disturbing trend amongst the Marc Jacobs perfume ads. A phallic, penis related trend, to be precise:

Because who DOESN’T want to sit on a white horse with a giant bottle of perfume between their legs?

But apparently Marc Jacobs doesn’t think it’s just the ladies who require some strategically placed bottles:

Just incase the giant “BANG” wasn’t enough of a hint…

Look, I’m no stranger to sexy perfume ads. There have been much worse examples of sexism being taken too far. Tom Ford, I’m looking at you. To be honest, I find these ads rather hilarious and outdated. Marc Jacobs, we get it. We SEE the giant phallic shaped object  between the models legs. Really, we do! It’s supposed to be a penis, har har har. Now, can you please just STOP. PLEASE. STOP.

No more phallic shaped objects, please. I’ve had enough of seeing fake penises everywhere without having to wince every time I look at my perfume bottles.