Target: Sell Merchandise Not Women

I was alerted by a friend the other night about a disturbing set of Target commercials  which aired during the Golden Globes. Target’s “Every day Collection” is anything but. While Target’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Jeff Jones, claims their new adds embody Target’s slogan of “Expect More; Pay Less” I disagree. I think a more accurate description of the advertisements would be: “Expect a Target ad; Watch a Sexy Woman Change a Diaper”

Take a look for yourselves:

And that’s just one ad out of 8.

Did I miss the part of the Everyday woman? It is not okay for a major corporation like Target to be spewing misogynistic garbage into the media. I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps I could begin with the fashion model who is as far away from the Everyday woman as  is humanly possible. She looks fake. And not just in the airbrushed fashion model way, but every move she makes screams that someone is telling her to make it. I know she is a hired actor, but every movement of her body is on display. There are multiple screen shots of her crotch and from the moment she powders her hands with baby powder to the moment she backs away from the newly diapered baby she is not her own person.

Instead of empowering women in their housewife activities (as some viewers claim these ads do) it is doing the opposite.  There is nothing in this ad that praises the everyday woman who chooses to be a housewife. It’s disgusting that this woman is the ideal. She is represented as the only version of this elusive creature called Woman. This model, dressed in all white (does any one else think Purity Myth?) is both a doting housewife and incredibly sexy  while doing it.  Thus, the ad appeals to both men and women. If nothing else, Target is smart: they know they want women to think “If I buy my household goods at Target maybe I’ll be that woman”. Target knows they want men to think “How come my wife isn’t like that? Maybe we should go to Target”. It is blatant misogyny.

These ads hold up an ideal for women that is impossible and make women hate themselves. In the same stroke they teach men that the women in their lives are not good enough. The real women they know aren’t these cowgirl angels  who exist in a white vacuum of household goods and crawling happy babies.

Target presents women as sexualized aliens, resembling women only in the barest of body form. Listen to the narration. It is a woman’s voice who seductively tells the viewer to “master it” and then whispers in a sultry voice that this is the “everyday collection by Target”. It’s not the woman changing diapers who speaks because God forbid she gets a voice instead of just her body. No, it is a voice off camera meant to remind viewers just how sexy women are and how it is up to others-the media, men, etc-to control their sexuality and represent women how they feel it is best.  It is misogyny. I repeat: it is misogyny.

I urge anyone who reads this, to look up the other commercials on youtube, leave your comments, and tell Target that their hatred of women will not stand when there are those of us who see it for what it is. Boycott Target until they take the ads off the air. Write Target letters.

Use your voice before someone tries to take it from you.