This addresses the differences between the ideal self that one imagines and the real self that must be dealt with daily: everyone is not at peak performance at all times and bloating does happen. This can immediately attack one's self-esteem, either in frustration of the event or in guilt to what extent one caused it. The commercial focuses on the latter, claiming that active engagement with school and work cause people to frequently make poor food choices (there's a pizza box on the table) which conflict with other activities that later arise. Part of my, or any woman's gender constancy, creates a sensitivity not just to identification with the bloated woman, but also an awareness of pitfalls to the advertised diet. Activia claims to have something called bifidar regularis, which, aside from sounding made-up, is supposed to regulate the digestive tract to alleviate bloating. What it loudly leaves unsaid is that one must exercise ego (or self) control in eating habits to begin with which can easily be interpreted that the yogurt should be an entire meal replacement which is the first step towards developing a case of anorexia nervosa. Frustrated by what was sounding like a panacea, I decided to move along similar lines to a different media, the July 2006 issue of Cooking Light.
Cooking Light can be i...
al in mind, coping with the body images used in these adds is a little easier to accept, as it doesn't feel quite so much that it is an insistence to conform to these slender women so much as they are displayed as goal weights to achieve through healthier eating. Yet even here, ads focused on more superficial concerns, considering their were two Oil of Olay ads (one facial cream, one boy cream) and one L'Oreal (anti-sagging cream). These first two perpetuate an everlasting myth of adolescence (a mistaken self-concept that one reaches a peak and then declines after it) through early intervention ignoring that age-differentiation attributes more admirable traits (wisdom, experience) to women who have had time to make their way in the world. The sensitive periods in which a woman may become self-conscious enough to begin using Oil of Olay begin when one first recognizes signs of aging. One frequently feels that this results from neglecting to use creams from an early point in puberty, when in actuality it is a normative experience and part of maturation. This prejudice against looking older is in direct contrast with today's increased life spans; it seems women want to increase the longevity of their youth, not their life.
While these ads angered me as far as their external single mindedness, Cooking Light did have one ad that seemed to bridge the generational gap. An ad for Poise, a sanitary pad designed for weak bladders, is specifically designed for the female gender. The subject itself provokes a number of self-conscious emotions, as well as an understandable social phobia for anyone suffering from the condition. While this problem would prove to be a critical period for anyone, the ad sends a signal of empathy in the picture of a mother hugging her