Pantene Ad Defies Sexism While Still Being Sexy

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Nice Move

Yesterday, a Philippine Pantene commercial went viral. It depicts women and men behaving in the exact same ways, but with opposite connotations. This ad had me preaching about girl power and the benefits of well-conditioned hair. Here’s the video:

It’s awesome. It’s not in your face, and everyone’s hair looks fab. Beauty commercials geared towards the female population usually make me re-evaluate my appearance. Maybe it’s because the mop on my head just gets frizzy and gross when I run my fingers through it like they do on TV, but this ad is the exception, and it makes me want to rally some gals to change the world. The statement they’re making is an excellent take on a controversial subject. My only teeny-tiny criticism is that there are no blondes in it. As a golden-haired individual, I’m a little miffed about this, but oh well.

This commercial is part of Pantene’s #whipit campaign and reminds women to “Be Strong and Shine.” I love the image of an empowered woman smiling as she glides down the hallway in powerful Jimmy Choos. She’s not aggressive and she’s not making men feel small. She has the feminine grace, class, and style of an infinite number of successful women walking right beside her. Girl power can simply be this ambitious mind with great hair and even greater shoes. That is part of the message Pantene is sending.

What should one take away from this advertisement?

1. Go get what you want and do not apologize for wanting it. Tell the negative committee to sit down and shut up. Whether your dream is to be an astronaut, an amazing mother and wife, or a traveling sword swallower, run with it like Forest Gump. “Don’t let labels hold you back” and definitely don’t let some gossip-y co-workers knock you down. Or any haters for that matter. Just swagger on by and keep doing you.

2. Feminism doesn’t have to be controversial or ugly. This touchy subject will always be debated, it is what it is. Big ups to them for creating something that is more than just some girls showing off their airbrushed locks while surrounded by tropical fruits.

3. Women with professional careers are role models, not “selfish.” My own mother balanced a career while running a tight ship at home. No patriarch needs that BS, because she’s probably dealing with an angst-y teenager or toddler too. She’s silencing doubters at work and still has time to raise the next generation.

4. There is no place for negative gender stereotypes, but there is also no need to be rude. Please allow the dapper gentleman to hold the door for you without it turning into a women’s rights rally. Step down off the soapbox, blow him a kiss, and enjoy the wonderful world of being a well-dressed and uber-intelligent woman.

So, who runs the world of glossy locks and perfect ads? Pantene. Also, in the words of mighty Queen B herself, “Who run the world? Girls.”

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