Marketing hygiene/beauty products to men by implying it will make them more masculine and attractive to women is nothing new, but a recent Old Spice commercial throws in something I haven’t seen much: the ad is aimed at women.

C.J. and Anna M. pointed out the commercial, in which women (who, presumably, do the shopping) learn that we’d find men more attractive if we bought them the right body wash so they didn’t smell like women. Notice the stereotypes of the things that women really, really, really find attractive about men, namely, the ability to buy boats and diamonds and act out plot lines from romance novels:


Old Spice also targets men more directly, as in this commercial Katrin found:

Sofia R. sent in an ad that goes along with the commercial:

Guys, don’t ever forget that if your masculinity is in any way open to question–like, say, you have a stupid, gender-ambiguous name–you need to compensate by being sure to distance yourself from any other signs of girliness.

If you don’t like Old Spice, perhaps you’d be interested in the new line of products for men from Dove, sent in by J.Z. and Alexandra N.:

Once you have finally proven your manliness by doing enough sufficiently manly things (and making sure to procreate, and probably not having a name like Jamie), it’s safe to care about your skin and stuff.

Commenter Jennifer says,

I’m wondering if the Dove commercial, rather than using stereotypes solely for the purpose of selling products, is attempting to buck some of the stereotypes. I mean, it seems like the commercial points out some of the aspects of life that prove “Patriarchy Hurts Men, Too” like the necessity to be good at sports, be brave and strong, and be heterosexual. In some ways, I thought the commercial kind of refreshing.

Poor men. They feel so put-upon with all the expectations of them. Especially the ridiculous things women ask them to do. Women are so whiny and demanding and sap all the fun out of men’s lives. As this Dodge commercial sent in by Sara P. shows, the only thing left for a guy to do is take a “last stand” by getting a macho car:

Sara and Jesse W. also sent us this parody of the above ad, from a woman’s perspective, cracks me up:

Just in case you might not have gotten the main points, let me summarize for you:

* Don’t be a sissy! Show you’re a man with manly beauty products! Chicks will dig it.

* But once you’ve proven you’re a man, you can be a little more open about using manly beauty products.

* Having relationships with women totally emasculates you! Why won’t they just shut up?!?

UPDATE: Reader Theo linked to another commercial about how women just won’t shut up!

NEW! (Feb. ’10): Emma M.H. and Liz M. sent in this commercial for FloTV that also shows women emasculating and controlling men:

ALSO NEW! (Feb. ’10):This Daily Show clip, sent in by Chrissy B., summarizes just how very bad men have it these days:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Male Inequality
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Political Humor Vancouverage 2010