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.


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