aboutface-mobile-menu-hide_03
aboutface-mobile-menu-show_03
facebook twitter youtube tumblr share this

Powerful Pantene commercial sheds light on sexist labels

Date: January 27, 2014 | Posted By: Allie

“Don’t let labels hold you back.” This is the slogan of a new Pantene campaign that encourages women to disregard negative sexist stereotypes and live their lives with confidence — and, if you’d prefer, awesome hair. However, “Be Strong and Shine” is no longer just an ode to Pantene hair products.

The message is powerfully captured in a commercial from Pantene Philippines. The advertisement successfully highlights some major double standards between the ways men and women are viewed in the workplace and society, including:

  • Boss vs. Bossy
  • Persuasive vs. Pushy
  • Dedicated vs. Selfish (working dads vs. working moms)
  • Neat vs. Vain
  • Smooth vs. Show-off

At the time that this article is being written, the video has over 20.5 million views on YouTube and more than 26,000 likes. If you take a look, it’s easy to see why.

The video is so compelling because it communicates, with simple terms and visuals, just how inherently wrong it is that women are harshly judged for doing the same things as men or just doing simple tasks like washing up in the bathroom.

It sheds a very clear light on the subject, breaking through all the absurd arguments about women’s supposed inferiority that are often reinforced in dangerously subtle ways in our society.

The Pantene commercial itself has an interesting back story. According to The Seattle Times, the ad was released online in the Philippines by its regional office without any objective to connect with American audiences.

However, the message resonated with online viewers worldwide, and it wasn’t long before the commercial caught fire, racking up millions of hits on YouTube and forming a community that clamored for the commercial to be shown on American television.

After a wildly condensed media purchasing process to meet consumer demand, the commercial was broadcast on the ABC network during its classic annual news program, “The Year.”

persuasive vs. pushy

Double standards aren’t pretty

The Pantene ad has attracted influential fans like Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.

Ms. Sandberg brought recognition to the commercial on her Facebook page, stating that it was “one of the most powerful videos [she has] ever seen illustrating how when women and men do the same things, they are seen in completely different ways.”

Some may question whether it’s hypocritical for a beauty company to promote this message.

Personally, I wouldn’t devote much energy to analyzing that idea – using beauty products alone doesn’t make someone any less of a feminist, and I’m on board with supporting companies that raise awareness like this.

The commercial itself definitely prioritizes the message over the product and, at the very least, it’s inspiring necessary conversations about double standards and gender inequality.

What are some other double standards that could be featured in a commercial like this? Are there any other reasons you see for the success of this video?

Allie Semperger studied English at Kalamazoo College and screenwriting at UCLA. After studying abroad in London and traveling around Europe, she became a travel lover for life, and is always making plans for her next adventure. She recommends Marina and the Diamonds. She created the feminist Tumblr blog, Women’s Issues Are Society’s Issues, and aspires to make the world a better place for women and girls.




What Do You Think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

6 Responses to Powerful Pantene commercial sheds light on sexist labels

  1. fort lauderdale ray The plumber reviews on 07-28-2014

    To check if the flush valve is the cause of the leak,
    simply shut off the water supply to the toilet. Flat paint is the
    best choice for hiding rough spots and surface imperfections, which makes it perfect for ceilings and walls.
    Sometimes whenever a Berkeley plumbing predicament happens, people make an effort to fix the plumbing Berkeley problems with no help.


    Take a look at my weblog fort lauderdale ray The plumber reviews
  2. Reply
  3. #online business on 08-30-2014

    Another way you can update your site is to
    regularly check and improve upon your website's SEO status.

    com, or you're planning to open one soon, it's certain that some amount of homework will equip any crafter with improved knowledge of their
    unique niche, value, and target audience. This one is not so important,
    just reinforces to the search engines about what your page content is based on.

    Feel free to surf to my page ... #online business
  4. Reply
  5. Rhys on 09-09-2014

    They can get proper rhinoplasties are really affordable rates and hence the demand is always high.
    Is he an active member of a Plastic Surgery Association or Society.
    And premature skin aging is considered to be one of those problems.


    my website - nose job in ct (Rhys)
  6. Reply
  7. plastic surgery uva on 09-14-2014

    You can go to their websites and look for a listing for the
    doctors you are considering. For example, you might be seeking rhinoplasty as way to achieve a functional goal.
    And premature skin aging is considered to be one of those problems.


    Also visit my blog post - plastic surgery uva
  8. Reply
  9. ugg boots sale on 09-16-2014

    2011Der Polizeichef einer kleinen Stadt südlich Texas wurde währenwe d einer Verkehrskontrolle am Sams5 erschossen, sagte ein County Sheriff!we
  10. Reply
  11. za skincare products on 09-20-2014

    So in this case, hair loss treatment for women might benefit them get over it, and it will likely to help
    their hair grow even more than before, and faster than using natural hair loss treatment as you all know.
    Hair fall is a condition of losing hair from the scalp leading to
    the generation of new hair. Have Some Much more Derm - Organic
    Care For The Locks.

    Here is my web site; za skincare products
  12. Reply