Political correctness has taken over every single industry. But just how far in advertising has it gone?
L’Oreal Paris has a new advertising campaign for hair starring…a hijab-wearing Muslim woman whose hair you cannot see. Yes, really. No joke. Truly. Seriously.
Thought 2017 was ridiculous? Buckle in!
Her name is Amena Khan, and she’s advertising Elvive, a selection of shampoos, conditioners, and hair treatments.
Obviously, as you can tell, her hair is not visible. But Khan is super enthusiastic, stating, “How many brands are doing things like this? Not many. They’re literally putting a girl in a headscarf – whose hair you can’t see – in a hair campaign. Because what they’re really valuing through the campaign is the voices that we have.”
Again, hair…you cannot see, in a hair campaign.
Then Khan demonstrated that by not showing her hair in hair care ads, she was highlighting the value that hair holds to women beyond it being seen by others: “You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women who don’t show their hair don’t look after it? The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care.”
This is silly for so many reasons. First, hair care ads show hair because they are advertising the effectiveness of the hair product. This is like having a car ad that shows handtrucks. Perhaps we want to see the car we’re considering for purchase. That might make sense.
Second, it’s possible that your sense of autonomy isn’t compromised by you wanting your hair to look nice in public. Feminists used to make this case with regard to female dress – that some women find it empowering to dress in ways that others might not like. Is uncovering the hair really “stripping us of our autonomy and our sense of independence”?
But here we are, doing advertisements for hair that don’t include hair. All because we’re supposed to reflect “voices,” or something.
Well, why not go all the way? Why not advertise using someone who is bald? How about Bruce Willis for Elvive? Or Amber Rose?
If it’s all personality and no product, isn’t that sexist, too? We routinely hear feminists (correctly) critiquing jeans ads that show unclad women – the ads are for the women, not the jeans. Isn’t this a version of the same routine?
Amena Khan is without a doubt a beautiful woman, and she’d make a great model for a product that she can, you know, actually model.
But the advertising game may now be moving toward full-time virtue signaling rather than advertising of product.
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