Monday, 16 September 2013

Women's Lip

Look at this quite badly taken photograph of an advert for No7 lipstick in Boots. 

The tag line reads, You will take these red lips seriously. And there's some more copy at the bottom which reads, she's not airbrushed, she's not retouched, she's just No7.

Oh dear.

Let's discuss.

So, who is the woman in the advert? Well, she's wearing a smart, black jacket which instantly makes us think, CAREER, doesn't it? Her hair is greying so maybe she's reaching the top of the CAREER LADDER. OMG, she's a manager! Good for her!

She looks in control and a little bit aloof, yet semi-approachable with that Mona Lisa smile; the sort of boss who will be understanding(ish) about you needing to take a day off work if you had died in a plane crash. But she also doesn't take any shit (she didn't get where she is today - as a career woman - by taking shit) so you would need to have a really good reason for being on that plane in the first place and you would also have to prepare a report and draw a graph and write a presentation and have her period for her by firstthingmondaymorning, capeesh? 

And you would take her seriously when she gave you these orders. Sorry, you would take the words coming out of her mouth seriously. Sorry, no, you would take her mouth seriously. Her red mouth. Because that's what the advert says. And we all know, do we not, that in order to take a female boss seriously, she has to have the right colour mouth. How many times have we been disciplined by a female superior for burning down the office and smearing poo all over ourselves while still in our uniforms, only to think, once we've gone home and changed into our Alice in Chains hoodies and settled down to a nice, comforting bowl of Alphabetti Spaghetti, HANG ON AN EFFING MINUTE! EMMA'S LIPS WERE THE COLOUR OF LIPS WHILE SHE WAS BERATING ME!!!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING LETTING HER TRAMPLE ALL OVER ME LIKE THAT!?!?!?!?!?!? EVERYONE KNOWS THE RULE ABOUT HIGH-FLYING WOMEN AND THE COLOUR OF THEIR LIPS!!!!

Bullshit, of course. But also, what? And, really?

This advert is really confused by itself. What is it saying?

Women are to be taken seriously but beware of women because red means danger and let's all be honest with ourselves here, women at the top are into S&M but that's cool because look at us, we're feminists! We've got a model with grey hair in our advert! But, wait! Women who wear red lipstick are witches and they put seriousness spells on you but on the other hand women can do hypnotherapy just like men can which equals equality and the colour of equality is red and roses are red, violets are blue.

This advert thinks that the woman in it - and what she is saying -  is a symbol of EMPOWERMENT and CONTROL and EQUALITY and of being DETERMINED and UNAPOLOGETIC; You will take me my lips seriously! I, as a woman My red lips, as a symbol of my aroused vagina, demand respect while I'm wearing my work clothes! I, as a successful businesswoman My appearance deserves the same rights in the workplace as any man! And when my make-up comes off half way through the day and I start to feel emotional and fail miserably at my job and my brain drips through my ears and slides down my lipstickless mouth, I reserve the right to come crying to you, my inferior male employee in his early twenties, fall into your arms, and beg you to to help me wiv the weird noises on my puter until you scrape me from the floor, pat me on the bottom and tell me to go to the loo to freshen up so that I can be taken seriously once more because, equality, equality, equality!!! BLACK HOLE.


Monday, 2 September 2013

Casting Call

Below is a casting call for an advert for Dulux paint. It's completely real:

Our two roles, Bill and Jess, should look like regular people in their late 20s. They need to be instantly likeable. People our audience can relate to. Not too good looking, neither too quirky. Importantly they need to be a believable couple. I suggest we cast in couples (rather than individually) to see who feels and looks right with each other. We'll be looking to capture a full range of performances from them in terms of emotion; nervousness, excitement, anxiety, happiness.
Importantly, Jess should look like the kind of girl who is NOT into football. Or lad’s sport of any kind. She’s a girl’s girl. A cheerful primary school teacher who loves pilates, quinoa salad, colourful clothes and watching rom coms.

Bill is an easy-going IT technician who loves couch surfing, pizza, wearing his favourite football shirt and supporting his beloved team. The kind of guy who despairs at the prospect of watching a rom-com or doing pilates. 

Below is an application for the above casting call:


I am applying for the role of Jess in the Dulux advert. I believe that I would be perfect for the part and, when I say 'perfect', I mean literally perfect. Here is why:

First of all, my name is literally Jess! And I literally have a boyfriend called Bill! How weird is that! But my boyfriend Bill isn't going to apply for the part of Bill because he's just broken up with me.

Second of all, I am a regular person in my 20s. In fact, I'm so regular that I can make literally anyone's mind go completely blank just by looking at them. My nickname at school was vagina-plus-penis-plus-Gordon-Brown-face. That last point isn't related to this application, it's just a fact.

Third of all, I am instantly likeable. I know this because I have 17 friends on Myspace and none of them have ever even met me. Like, EVER. And they friended me back as soon as I friended them. My fave Myspace friend is imgonnagetya52. He is  H I L A R I O U S. He pretends that he lives with his mum and that he steals her money and that he doesn't let her have friends over even though it's her house. It's like an on-line persona. In fact, he might be really good for the role of Bill! I'll send him a link to your advert! 

Fourth of all, I'm not too good looking and I don't know what quirky means so I'm definitely not that either.

Fifth of all, I believe that all people - including couples - are believable. I literally believe EVERYONE.

Sixth of all, my performance range is incredibly full and I can do all the emotions, especially fear, anxiety, down in the dumps, guilt, low self-esteem, blank, sad, tearful, tired and clumsy. I know that not all of those are in the casting call but it's important that you know all the things I can do because it's loads.

Seventh of all, I am NOT into football. My dad was really into football. Like, really into it. And when I was born and I wasn't a boy, my dad was really pissed off because he really wanted a son to play football with. So, he tried to play football with me but I couldn't really do it because of a phobia I had about circles and my dad got really, really, really, really, really, really, really angry and then he went to the shop to buy a newspaper and I haven't seen him since. So the moral of that story is that I am not into football at all! lol

Eighth of all, I know that I'm definitely a girl's girl because of my duvet cover (Zac Efron).

Ninth of all, I've never been a primary school teacher but I have done a 'Teach Yourself About the Olden Days' video on YouTube and I got loads of comments so loads of people watched it. The comments were so funny! A few were quite nice too!

Tenth of all, I LOVE pirates! I'm so glad that's one of the things you wanted!

Eleventh of all, I wouldn't normally eat quinoas because I'm vegetarian but I think that I could act as if  I like them if you could provide me with a therapist to talk to about some stuff.

Twelfth of all, colourful clothes and watching rom coms is my middle name! Literally! I absolutely live for rom coms! They're so romantic and funny! I love how, when you're watching one, you always think that the couple aren't going to get together but then, just before the end, there's a really clever twist that's completely unexpected and then they do get together! It makes me feel really, really, really happy. And really safe.

So, as you can see, I'm literally perfect for this part. I really feel like it's totally meant to be. Also, Dulux is my FAVE kind of paint. On my last day of school, as a joke, some of the people in my year waited for me to walk under the bridge in the playground and they were standing on the bridge and just as I walked under, they poured loads of paint all over me. For AGES. I didn't even run away while it was happening!The timing was perfect! It was such a good joke! And now, whenever I smell paint, I think of that. So, I think I could really get into the character of Jess because of that memory I have. A bit like that memory guy, Stanislavski.

Ps: I know that my application is one day late but I only saw it yesterday and I couldn't do it then because I got an anonymous email from this guy who said he was my dad and that he really missed me and wanted to see me and to meet him by the chip shop at 2:30pm and so I went and I waited for ages but he didn't come and then when I got home, I got a message entitled 'Gullible' on Myspace from imgonnagetya52 and then I just went to bed.