We've all come across those familiar tropes in advertising, where cooking oil and washing detergent ads often reinforce redundant gender roles and exhibit blatant sexism. And then there's the ever-present male deodorant ad, persistently clinging to the same worn-out blueprint, as predictable as a rerun you've seen multiple times.
Ah, yes, the typical male deodorant ad, where a chiseled shirtless hunk of a man gazes into the mirror with an air of smugness, oozing the confidence of a person who believes they've conquered the world. No need for the magical mirror to utter, 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?' because this guy surely knows that he's got it all and then some. And now he will spray on some magically gripping deodorant with names like 'Macho,' 'Axe,' and 'Wild Stone,' also boasting top notes of musk and amber, because God forbid a man with a floral scent and a perfume bottle in a shade unbound by gender norms, is definitely going to pound his masculinity.
These deodorants release an aura of sheer strength; their magic goes beyond mere fragrance. They possess the power to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Watch as women, usually depicted as overly sexualized beings, run after that gorgeous earth-god, attracted to him like a magnet and going gaga over him because, in the end, that's the only thing women are attracted to.
Such advertisements over the years have done nothing but objectify and sexualize women, perpetuating the stereotype that all women aim for and are willing to do anything for male attention. These ads not only fail to remotely convey the primary objective of a deodorant, which is to keep one fresh and make a good impression, but they also promote the narrative that sex sells. By portraying women as mere sex objects in the name of marketing, these ads contribute to the harmful reinforcement of gender stereotypes and the sexual objectification of women. They limit women to being depicted solely for that purpose, disregarding their multifaceted identities. Moreover, these ads further reinforce the notion that a woman's sole purpose is to seek a man's attention, suggesting that such attention can be obtained by simply doing the bare minimum.