The brilliant Sarah Haskins vanished from the infoMANIA television show in January 2010, and has somehow managed to elude Google on the subject of her current professional status. This is sad news for rabid fans like me, who would much prefer that, regardless of the personal costs to her, Haskins keep cranking out quality feminist entertainment that I can consume for free on the internet anytime I want. Fortunately, Haskins’ legacy — like that of all minor pop culture figures whose body of work can be downloaded in chunks measuring 480 x 390 pixels — lives on, on YouTube.
For those unfamiliar with Haskins’ erstwhile “Target Women” gig on Current TV, her recurring segment entailed 3 satisfying minutes of comedy jokes satirizing femininity marketing. Laundry products. Cleaning products. Chick flicks. Vampires. Beauty products.
I got to thinking about “Target Women” today when, laid up in front of the tube with a fucking sprained ankle, another one of those Dove soap commercials savaged my optic nerves. Dove’s got a new science ingredient. The ingredient is called Nutrium Moisture. Nutrium Moisture is a science molecule composed of blue and orange Skittles. It looks like this.
If you think you can get away without using Nutrium Moisture, think again, old fruit. “Cleansing” can really fuck you up if you don’t do it right. I took Dove’s Skin IQ Test and was amazed to discover how low my Skin IQ is! Did you know that using a towel can be dangerous? And this question was certainly a toughie:
Incidentally, does anybody except a soap company use the word “cleanse”?
“Great pâté, Mom, but I gotta biff off to cleanse.”
Here’s what cleansing looks like on a scientific level:
Not surprisingly, this shit is just so annoying I decided to give Dove another Ditwuss Award. A Lifetime Achievement Ditwuss.*
Dove, a brand of femininity products manufactured by global conglomerate Unilever, has already earned a couple of Ditwuss Awards for its adroitness in preying on women even as it pretends to give a crap about them, most notably with its supremely bogus “Campaign for Real Beauty.” Apparently the concept is working like a charm; like a race of maniacal overlords, they keep spewing the same poisonous self-esteemy propaganda year after year.
I complain about this company’s stupid ads all the time, not because they are the most outrageous (which they’re not), but because they are the most insidious. Insidious because Dove sells butt cream by telling an increasingly funfeminist audience what they want to hear. Dove knows that beauty standards are impossible, Dove is the first to admit that models are all fotoshopped, Dove agrees that being super-thin isn’t good for you. So, for you “real” ladies out there, Dove piously continues to take a stand against all this phony beauty nonsense, by gum. Beauty is now healthy and clinically therapeutic and desirable and attainable (through Dove products) by regular women.
This confidential-yet-authoritative “we’re on your side” tone is so transparently calculated to erode consumers’ defenses against the actual message, it makes me want to pull my own head off. This actual message, which has remained unchanged since the dawn of time, is the same for all purveyors of femininity swag:
“Beauty is your sacred duty.”
No matter how the beauty industrial complex defines it, as a member of the sex class you are obligated to concern yourself inordinately with the pursuit of it. Of course, by universal decree, you’ll always be a day late and a jar of carcinogenic, ecotoxic butt cream short.
Fortunately, looking at Dove’s improbable beauty molecules was a great excuse to revisit the Sarah Haskins video.
* Ditwuss = “DTWS” = “degrades the whole species”. Winners of the Ditwuss Award embody those misogynist, heteronormative, dudeliocentric attributes that most make Savage Death Islanders wanna puke