Here we are. It’s Friday night and I’m as plum tuckered out as I always am by this point in the week. Apparently, I’m watching television programs with an anticipated strong female following: all I’m seeing are commercials for pads, tampons, and cleaning supplies. Oh, and lady antiperspirant, so I can smell like Fabulous Freesia when PMS and scrubbing toilets leads my pits to be extra exuberant.
Yes, we all know my uterus is gone, so I don’t technically have a menstrual cycle, but I still get the nifty mood swings because my ovaries don’t realize they’re the only ones at the party. I guess it’s hard to count party goers in the dark.
I might gripe about pit stick and various winged (and more aerodynamic) feminine paper products another evening. Tonight, I have a serious beef with the cleaning product commercials. Pretty much every time I see one of these commericials, the main actor is a slim, beautiful woman with impeccable makeup. You know it’s true. She is dressed in pretty clothes, cleaning with the look on her face I reserve for chocolate torte, and her hair is smooth and glossy.
When I really clean house, which with my current schedule happens in earnest about as often as a lunar eclipse, I look like a big heap of hell. We are talking zero hair product, zero makeup, and zero joy. I only wear a bra if I’m going to be scrubbing particularly vigorously: it’s still important to contain the girls on cleaning day if they could be a hazard to themselves or to others. I don’t play ridiculously happy remakes of songs from 30 years ago either.
In the ads, the domestic mannequins flit about their already clean homes, polishing things to a high gloss for the cameras and looking highly satisfied with themselves. Note I said “already clean homes.” Why on earth are these women wasting time that could be better invested in chocolate, reading, or (wink) romance to clean a house that is not dirty? There is no point. Nothing will be gained from this activity, except apparently the pure, almost kinky joy these strange, perfect women gain from cleaning. It’s the equivalent of paying another ten bucks to go through the car wash again, just for the fun of it.
It’s kind of the same thing as Gillette trying to sell me razors by filming their products gliding over tanned and shimmering calves with about as much hair on them as the average golden delicious apple. Demonstrating a product doing nothing doesn’t exactly prompt me to reach for my debit card. Show me a Venus razor shearing a German shepherd to the skin: then we have a sale.
I realize television presents a sanitized version of reality, but it still ticks me off. Those scrubbing, bubbly ladies with their toothpaste commercial smiles and their immaculate homes don’t represent an accurate domestic situation. They make me feel like crap. I bet they do the same to other women. Who wants to watch someone far prettier, thinner, and overjoyed at household chores Swiffering about a perfect house? These things make real people feel inferior. These things make people write semi-serious rants on their mildly successful blogs.
Now, if Swiffer and its ilk would like to film a television ad that would both sell products and boost the morale of women everywhere, I would be happy to oblige. If it makes as much sense to those cleaning company honchos as it does to me to show a product actually performing the task it’s purported to, I will gladly fling open the dollhouse door and welcome the camera crews. They can go after my dustbunnies with all they’ve got.
As long as they send the skinny woman who loves to clean, they don’t even have to pay me for the privilege.
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