Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bring Back Catherine Zeta Jones, T-Mobile!

Oh, T-Mobile, you may have some of the best and cheapest phone plans with all sorts of family-oriented calling circles and deals. And we love Catherine Zeta Jones as a spokeswoman! She's so cool and amazing (I can't help thinking of her ALWAYS as Charlie Nicholson in High Fidelity.) Why must you then change your advertizing strategy into one that insults half of your customer base with commercials riddled with creepy fathers, silent wives, and fetishization of non-existent, abstract, teenage girls? That was a lot… sorry. Let’s watch for ourselves.

First we have the Creepy Father. Funny story, while I was looking for this exact video on YouTube, someone had actually named this video “Creepy Daddy” (as you can see), and rightly so. As espoused (pun intended) by those fathers within the purity movement, a father is suppose to be the keeper of his daughter. The daughter and her sacred hymen are always at risk for being dirtied my “the sex”, because of course, if she had it, then who would want her? Anyway, this father uses his cell phone calling circle as a way of “covering” his daughter against the predator that is this harmless horny teenage boy who won’t be able to control his raging hormones. Forget what the daughter may want (and for the record, these are just two friggan’ kids going on a date which will probably consist of an awkward movie experience and the relief of meeting up with friends for some pizza after). But no, the ever vigilant father must protect his daughter, who of course cannot make any judgment calls for herself.

Next, and in the same vein, we have the fetishization of the non-existent (and therefore silent) teenage girl. Watch and listen:

In this T-Mobile commercial, the daughter is happy to have a calling plan that will include her best girlfriends. Her annoying little brother is happy that he can harass his sister’s best girlfriends by adding them also to his calling circle. (Read: adding these girls to his calling circle means that this little brother can call them, without monetary repercussions, an unlimited amount of times). The daughter, outraged, and rightfully so, as she knows her friends are soon to be subject to a fair amount of harassment from her kid brother, she turns to her mother to remedy the situation. Buuuuuuuut… since wives are silent in T-Mobile’s mind (and a lot of other company’s minds too… see my previous post), the wife/mother doesn’t say a thing, rather the father steps in. What are his words of wisdom to his daughter? Victim-blaming. “Maybe you should have uglier friends.” In other words, your friends are hot, so they are asking for harassment. Like father like son, apparently. And the wife/mother? Surely she has something to say now! Nope. She nods in mechanically brainwashed agreement. Thus the daughter is alone in her predicament. It’s all her and her friends’ faults for being so damn young and hot.


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