Walgreens Commercial Normalizes the Objectification of Women Using a Young Boy and Christmas

Briefly:

There’s a commercial running for Walgreens Pharmacy, claiming it’s a great place to find gifts for the holidays. Leaving this insane claim and any deep analysis of commodification aside, I’d like to talk about what the commercial does visually to make the objectification of women seem cute and normal. The commercial centers around a young elementary school boy who is giving gifts to various female classmates, all awe-struck by his shopping prowess. The young ladies man then turns his gift-giving attention to his teacher–at the same time that the camera turns its attention to her rear end as she writes something on the board. The boy gives her the gift, and she walks away. Cut to a shot of him smiling in the direction that she walked away, causing us, the viewer, to surmise that he is watching her walk away. Like a sleaze. We are meant to think he’s getting a good look at her ass.

And the commercial frames this as funny-cute. As normal. It implies that this boy has the right to do this because he bought her a gift. It ignores, or makes light of, the inappropriate of this in several ways:

1. On an age level, by attributing sexual motives to a prepubescent boy

2. On a gender equality level, by reducing a woman to her sexualized body part that is ogled

3. On a power and ownership level, where the buyer/gift-giver is accorded rights to transgress social decorum

Ugh. Just, ugh. All of this is what is wrong with our culture. That all of this gross sexism and scary commercialism is wrapped in a pretty, innocent bow of holiday generosity.

My ass.

4 Comments

Filed under Beginning of the Body, Commodification, Contemporary, Deconstructing Commercials, Gender Trouble, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Walgreens Commercial Normalizes the Objectification of Women Using a Young Boy and Christmas

  1. Nichelle

    Gotta agree with you.

  2. Karen Lamb

    I had to look this up as I saw it a few days ago and it keeps airing on Hulu. This boy was TAUGHT how to have ‘bedroom’ eyes. They even call him Casanova… It is thoroughly disgusting how he looks at each individual female in a sexual way. He doesn’t even know what he’s doing, He’s about 6 years old. This is as disgusting as the M&M commercial where the one ‘strips’ and makes comments regarding how he didn’t know it was that ‘type’
    of party. Bizzare. There have been many this year, I try to put them out of my mind.

    • Gross…that he was TRAINED to perform the objectification of women and sexualization of young girls (and, reflexively, himself) makes it so much worse. How was this allowed? How is this still airing? M&M candies and adult sexism on TV is one problem, but this involves CHILDREN. And I just don’t get why this has been culturally sanctioned with a knowing wink. I hope the kid forgets the entire inappropriate experience and grows up to be a reasonable human being.

  3. Annie

    Bravo. Could not have said it better.

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