Looking for safe stereotypes? There's only one

February 18, 2010
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A week or two ago, I was watching the Super Bowl, as were most families in America. Half the reason I watch it is for the commercials, often the best in the advertising biz break the bank to get a few seconds that will stick to people’s brainstems, yet I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in commercials, not just in the Super Bowl, but all over TV.

What I’ve noticed is a stereotype, or at least, character portrayal, of the middle-aged, slightly dim, possibly overweight white man. Often this character is doing something absurd or nonsensical while a practical, whip smart wife lovingly rolls her eyes. Look at any commercial selling a family-oriented, particularly mom-oriented product, you’ll see it nearly everywhere.

Now if a woman were depicted in this role, feminists would begin to bang down the company’s door. “It’s sexist!” They’d cry, outraged by the sheer audacity of someone representing a woman as doing something wrong! Unheard of! How dare they! Don’t they have any respect for the opposing gender?

Or, say an African-American, or Hispanic, or any other race were given the roll of a goofy, none-the-less, lovable husband. Civil Rights groups would be up in arms over the supposed racism.

Now I am a woman, and I have nothing against people of another race. I am not saying that companies should start portraying ethnic stereotypes, especially in a demeaning manner. But come on, give this guy a break.

When it comes to stereotypes, nothing is safe, and everything is sacred. So why does the middle-class, white man get left out of this bunch?

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Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm
LOL, I agree. 
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