Can we please stop calling everything shallow and marketed towards women sexist and anti-feminist? The Frisky included one of the print incarnations of Reebok’s ass-vertising for their new EasyTone shoes in our round up of 2009′s most sexist commercials, implying that it was anti-feminist by writing that commercials like these basically say, “Who cares about health care reform when you can be out toning your a**?” The thing is, toning your ass and being smart, politically-motivated, etc. are not mutually exclusive. When you watch the commercial above do you really think “Hey, I can continue caring about political decisions that will affect my life OR I can try to get in shape and have an ass worth watching on TV? If so, the problem isn’t so much the advertising as it is the ongoing misconception that hot girls can’t be smart. Admittedly, a parade of toned asses bouncing around doesn’t scream “Ask me about my thoughts on the Middle East!” but it also doesn’t have to preclude the possibility that someone with a butt like that does have an informed opinion on that front. So why are we so quick to attack all moments of frivolity and shallowness in advertising? Isn’t a bit of fun something we all kind of strive for, whether we’re smart, slow or somewhere in between?
One would think. Yet I’ve seen perfectly intelligent women devolve into vitriol in the name of “feminism” upon seeing ads like the one above, which begs the question: why so much anger? You’d think that a smart, confident woman would be able to laugh off an ad she considers a little uncouth. There’s a problem though, and it’s the same problem behind the rather widespread assumption that models are stupid: the possibility of someone being attractive and smart is a reminder that intelligence isn’t necessarily enough if you don’t have a great looking butt, too. And ighteous feminist anger, after all, is far easier a thing to feel than self-doubt.