Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sexist or Just Different?

Advertising and marketing are both inherently aspirational, we all know that. They're also inherently sexist, partly because men and women are (or are supposed to) aspire to different things.

Take one of my stocking filler Christmas presents, for instance - All Weather Moisturiser by Rock Face, who's tagline is 'Conquer the elements'.

Or should that be:


Anyway... This is a product marketed, obviously, to rugged outdoorsy man types with beards like a clifface and single digit body fat percentages. These men go climbing the Grand Canyon without the aid of a safety rope and are tested every moment of the day by the beautiful and terrible Mother Nature, who sends the full apocalyptic force of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart at him every day.

The added gratuitous German (which itself has the über-manly unnecessary umlaut) means 'Daily Moisturiser' and is the least-manly line on the packaging. This is probably why it's visually barked at you by a staccato Teutonic Drill Sargeant.

Men should have nice skin, we're told this by our magazines, girlfriends and, generally, common sense. Rock Face is not here to bring us soft skin, oh no, because that's not rated M for Manly. It's here to counterbalance the frosty winds we meet while exploring the North West Passage on the weekends, rather than the fifteen seconds of that slightly nippy breeze between the car and the office.

This is, of course, not how a moisturiser is marketed to women.

Moisturiser for a woman is empowering, making her able to face the working day at her desk in her possibly IT or publishing-related job and still look pretty and lively because THOSE BITCHES in the office hate her naturally-good looking guts whether she has nice skin or not. Using it also means she can be appreciated by a hunky guy on the tube, rather than disgusting him because the minor differences in well-hydrated and slightly de-hydrated skin is obviously the first thing men look at.

It says that a woman's life is tough, because she must be pretty all the time in everything she does. Men, on the other hand, require softening because their über-manly outdoors, sporty and active lifestyles make them too tough and rugged. Rawr.

So here's the thing. Does the advertising exist that way because men and women are genuinely different and require different spins on their aspirations, or do these supposed differences only exist because of society's trappings and the advertising industry itself?

This I cannot say. All I can say is that I'm now off out in the open. I hear Wind said something bad about me, so I'm going to kick its breezy ass while having gorgeously kissable skin.

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