Blamer Belenen sent in a video clip the other day with the note “check out this animated tribute to sexism.” It was a cartoon called “Only in a Woman’s World.” Four young female characters obsess about femininity, particularly body image and food, in that glib, self-depracating-but-psuedo-edgy way that hot young empowerfulized women are popularly imagined to talk.
“Sex and the City with lower-paid actors,” I wrote back. “Pah.”
I thought it was a trailer for an actual TV series to be aired on the Oprah Lady Channel or something. But it turns out it’s a new ad campaign ad for Frito-Lay. Blamer feral hipped me to this piece in the New York Times outing the thing. The characters are “fab, funny, fearlessly female,” and, sure enough, the obvious rip-off of “Sex and the City” does not elude the Times.
The gist of the article is not a cartoon review, though. It explains how advertising is using “pop neurology” and “neuromarketing” to get inside women’s brains in order to sell us shit snacks that taste like shit, i.e. Baked Lays.
They’re analyzing anterior cingulate corteces and hippocampuses and making women test subjects keep self-hatred journals, all of which reveals the astonishing scientific conclusion that women feel guiltier than men about, well, everything. Frito-Lay’s new ad campaign, featuring “characters [women] could empathize with,” is designed not to “trip” women’s guilt.
They do this by packaging everything in beige bags with pictures of herbs on them.
I consider myself pretty media-savvy, but the fact that I couldn’t tell the difference between a stupid TV show and a stupid advertising campaign makes me fairly queasy. But of course, every single thing on television sells something nasty, whether it’s Baked Lays or boob jobs.