Women, sort yourself out!

An old one from Mitchell and Webb:

Real Men Smell Like Deer in Heat

Dear CF,

I was recently in a gun shop in Proctorville, Ohio, going up the stairs from the shooting-range in the basement after deciding that this was not the place from which to steal a chocolate doughnut. Even though there they were—unguarded, free for the taking—just in front of a couple of “3-D targets” (a.k.a. plastic animal statues):

Judging from the educational material on the projector and the abandoned notes on the conference table, an NRA meeting on gun safety had just concluded. Anyway, like I said, I was leaving, doughnut-hungry, when I saw this:

The picture isn’t in great focus because two guys in the basement gave us weird looks as we were leaving, and I was worried they would catch me taking shots. So I snapped two quick pictures and decided to look at them later. Here is the close-up:

Given world enough and time, here’s what I’ve gathered: the ultimate one-two hunting combination consists in masking your man-smell with Scent Killer and then dousing yourself in Special Golden Estrus (deer urine), so that you smell so much like a fetching lady-deer such that the stags will come flocking to you.

Other mottoes they may have contemplated to go with the steroid-man pictured: Real men wear deer-drag. Be the Best Doe-Bro You Can Be. Golden Showers Bring Male Powers.



Maidenform Ads: Inside the Madness

Dear CF,

I’m speechless at your news of this Hail to the V handpuppet campaign. Handpuppets! It got me thinking about the marketing campaigns of yore; specifically, the Maidenform ads of the 50s and 60s, which are a strange, wonderful amalgam of glamorous surrealism and post-brainstorm despair.

Here are a few to start us off:

“I, suh. Gar?”

(was approximately my reaction).


Knockout! Ha!



So far, wild awesome dreams that double as euphemism. Knockers that box! Charioteers that arouse! Pink elephants that… well.

Then there’s this:

We can be Tarzan and swingers. Yes. Yes indeed.

Then there is this, which is what happens when a euphemism goes into overdrive and makes the leap from fantasy to vaguely suicidal.

Okay, but maybe it’s about risk-taking in general! Like this!

YES! goes this ad campaign. SEXY MATADOR BRIDAL BULL-WRANGLER! Hints of bestiality! Bra-armor! GO!

That might seem hard to top. Don’t worry:

But then the Don Drapers behind this whole thing start to slow down. The ads get a little more … prosaic:



If you’re getting depressed, don’t! You could, um, dream of being creative!

Or of playing Cleopatra! (We’ve downgraded from actually “being” her as we barge down the Nile.):

How about … no. We already used up our elephant. But maybe another circus reference. I know!

Height! Height is exciting. Where else can we use it? A bridge? No, that takes us back to suicide… How about … no. Or? Um … a construction site?

A lift! Get it? Travel. Travel is good. Let’s run with that. Instead of adventure, let’s go with scary but glamorous travel!

Or just, you know, travel!

Exhausted, bankrupt of ideas concerning what one might do with a bra that will thrill and inspire, the ad execs hit on an amazingly appealing concept:



(Images via the Smithsonian)

Hail to the V

Dear Millicent,

With Harry Potter and Friday Night Lights ending their stories this week, generations are weeping everywhere.  And last night, as the audience settled in the theater to see what happens to Potter and friends even though we all know what happens, a surprising commercial came on.  It was epic, starting with a woman holding her baby to the moon, and the words “It’s the cradle of life.”

“Uterus” I whispered to Mr. Carla Fran, thinking I was hilarious.

“It’s the source of nations.”

“Uterus!” I thought I was playing a reproductive parts/movie trailer game akin to the fortune cookie “in bed” thing.

“Men have fought for it”

Still works!

“Men have died for it.”

And then, you know what they were actually talking about? VAGINAS! It was really about ladyparts. It was a commercial for Summer’s Eve, convincing women to get spendy because their historical vaginas are so epic.  They are the stuff of movies. The tag line was the bold “Hail to the V.” I actually gasped.

I can’t find a clip of that actual commercial online, [update: it’s here] but I’m sure everybody will see it because everybody is Harry Pottering this weekend. It was surreal because it was so body positive,  and yet I don’t want to celebrate my epic lady part by dumping a bunch of chemicals on it.  That does not sound like hailing to me. Actually, it does, but the weather kind. The hailing that dents cars, and tender things.

The commercial is also a fascinating snapshot of power and gender. Yes, the knights are fighting for the princess’ vagina, but that’s kind of the problem, not the cool thing, right? I cannot wait to hear what Sociological Images has to say about all of this. [Update, Gwen Sharp covered it here).

This all did lead me to Summer’s Eve Youtube channel, where they have a bold campaign to work their way back into the sex ed health class. Because we know every health teacher warns against douching, and brings up Summer’s Eve or Massengill as the example baddies.  We all know that we are not supposed to buy those things.  But, Summer’s Eve’s new approach is get direct, get educational, and make hand puppets that are your vagina.

Here is white lady comedian gal friend vagina:

Here is tired and sassy latina lady vagina on the go:

And here is club-going black lady vagina, complete with wrist snap:

Summer’s Eve wants women to be “BFF”s with their vaginas. Cool. The problem? A.) Nothing is still the best everything for upkeep down there. No soap, no wipes, no special body lotion, nothing.  and B.) I like the idea that I can be besties with my anatomy without corporate direction.  Gimme Hot Pantz, the free and awesome pamphlet on lady parts, any day.

But, is this the kind of ad campaign that gets conversations started earlier, especially for adolescents, and at the very least, gets the V out of the closet?  Another tag line from the videos is “Welcome to Vaginaland.”

Harry Potter was fine. I just can’t stop thinking about feminine wipes.