Tuesday, July 14, 2015

No-good marketing and feminist bias

So I was going to write something yesterday, since it's been a while now since last, but I just wasn't producing. I'm a bit ill, sore throat and whatnot, and I had a day off work yesterday (Not because I was ill, just a free day), and I hadn't really done anything. Played video-games, most of the day. Which is a really bad habit. 

As I get older I realize more and more how I don't want to be a videogame-person. Videogames are not inherently bad, they can be a lot of fun, but playing videogames is a stagnant activity. My mind was slack and dull after all that easy-fun gaming, and I couldn't come up with a single good or even interesting topic to write about. 

So today at work I thought about what I should write today. I work at a cafe in a mall, and the mall has it's own radio-music thing, which can only really be heard before and after shopping hours. They play nicely quaint and retroish music, which makes me feel totally at home, but every once in a while they play advertisements. And there is this one ad that really rubs me the wrong way. 

It goes a bit like this "Are you bothered by tensity or stiffness in your hands? Try *product x*. Come visit us at *y*!"

This is evil. That is an evil way to advertise what is probably a completely useless product. Concentrate on your hands. How do they feel? 

Well, probably a bit stiff after you heard about that magical magnesium-aminohappo-oil which seems to be the cure-all end-all. In reality, stiff fingers is way too vague to conclude anything. It might be a symptom of tense shoulders. It might be because you've drank all coffee and no water in the past three days. It might be because you use your hands all day all the time to do everything. It might be a symptom of nothing at all. What's likely is it has absolutely nothing to do with any sort of magnesium-whatever-deficiency, and that you wouldn't have ever though about it if you hadn't heard that ad. 

But this advertisement does a good job of convincing impressionable people that they need to buy expensive health-products in order to combat vague and non-alarming symptoms by making these people think that they are sick, or that there is something wrong with their bodies.

Just like the beauty industry. Never feeling stiff in your hands is as impossible a goal as attaining that carefully photoshopped hourglass body. Just like a couple humps and bumps and the occasional belly flob while sitting are a part of a healthy and fine body, a bit of ache and vague pain is simply a part of everyday life. But marketing is a large, evil business. And it does evil things to how we feel about our bodies, and our health.

Sometimes, you have to take a closer look and face your biases in order to see problems right under our noses. Also, it's been pretty calm on the artsy side of things lately.

Today, criticism against different sorts of marketing suffers a pretty extreme case of tunnel vision. Because criticizing the beauty-industry handily coincides with a lot of popular feminism, that's the only kind of critique that actually makes a splash in the media. Which is odd, since making people feel bad about their health should be just as bad or even worse than making people feel bad about how they look (in the interest to sell products.). Sadly, I've never heard anyone complaining about this before, even though it's an even more direct approach to making people feel bad than tactics employed by the beauty industry.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to speak your mind!

It's also always more fun if you leave some way for us to identify you.