When I was in middle school everyone wore Love’s Baby Soft. Despite its pre-pubescent feminine hygiene product smell we all just well, Loved it. I don’t recall seeing this advertisement when I was a kid. I got all the favorite mags of the day: Teen, Tiger Beat, Hot Dog.
So today, on Women’s Equality Day I say this: we never stood a chance.
It goes without saying: Because Innocence Is Sexier Than You Think was the precursor to You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!
This type of messaging peppered my youth. Even if I don’t remember seeing this ad I knew it was a sexy thing to wear. Maybe it was all those Enjoli commercials – bringing home bacon, frying it in a pan, reaffirm husband’s manhood, read to the kids, repeat.
Glued to the hulking floor standing television as much as we were back then I still know the words of the Enjoli commercial at the age of 45. As an impressionable young 9-year-old, with friends getting training bras and wearing heeled clogs, Enjoli (et.al) had a huge impact on my perception of what it was really like to be a woman.
I was raised by one of the biggest feminists you would ever hope to meet but the magical television knew something my Mom clearly didn’t. If only I could get ahold of some spray on scent I would be in clogs and a bra in no time.
There is nothing sexy about a little girl in make up clutching a teddy bear. The focus group on this promotion had to be peopled with pedophiles.
Fortunately the disturbing messaging via Love’s Baby Soft [insert product or media here] has worked its way out of our system. For the most part, that is. We are fortunate to have legion media critics who are feminists. We have watch-dog groups that call out sexist nonsense every single day. There is nothing PC about calling out sexism for what it is.
So I am thrilled it is Women’s Equality Day. We get a day. And though we have come a long way, there is just no letting up.