I will be sending an irritated email to Newcastle Ale in short order. Their latest ad focuses on the “hands of the Brew Master” as the process of making Newcastle is described in loving, almost sensual detail. The “punch line” comes in answer to the question “And why do we focus only on the hands of the Brew Master?” “Because she’s not an attractive woman.”
I’m not laughing. Oh, no, I HAVE a sense of humor and I DO get the joke. It’s just not funny.
Yes, we are being clever and showing our “open-mindedness” (it’s in quotes for a reason) by subtly telling you that a female is in charge of making a product that is normally associated with male consumers. I get it. However, we are alienating potential female consumers by implying that women should not be seen if they’re not pretty. Sorry, Guys: even though I didn’t like the picture of me from Sunday (and that was not down to the photographer. I just think I looked stressed and tired and old in it and I had thought the focus was the cute little dog in my lap), I’m not wearing a burqa to conform to your standards.
And I won’t be buying Newcastle again (yes, I have been a fan of the stuff) any time soon.
I keep hearing (as a rationale for me to “do something” about my appearance) that men are visual creatures whose sexual appetites are stimulated mainly by what they see (this theory severely undercut by the Penthouse Forum. No, I’ve never read anything in it, but I’ve heard rumors. Word pictures only).
This ad echoes something from “Tootsie” when Dorothy Michaels/Michael Dorsey has auditioned for the soap opera and been told she’s “too soft” so therefore, not wanted for the part of hospital administrator, Emily Kimberly: “Oh I know what y'all really want is some gross, caricature of a woman to prove some idiotic point that power makes a woman masculine, or masculine women are ugly. Well shame on you for letting a man do that, or any man that does that. That means you, dear. Miss Marshall. Shame on you, you macho shit head.”
Yeah, what she said.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, despite having established a record of accomplishments, Senator Hillary Clinton was derided for her looks and pantsuits (I heard “cankles” a lot). Sarah Palin, on the other hand, who has quit every job she’s ever had when the going got tough, was lauded for her looks (I heard “GILF” once or twice – Governor and then fill in the rest if you’ve seen any of the celluloid “American Pie” crap). (By the way, the woman doesn’t know how to wear clothes: knee-high Cole Haan boots with a knee-length skirt? Are you kidding?) This was parodied to hilarious effect on “Saturday Night Live” by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey (long may they wave).
I’ve brewed my own beer a few times (haven’t in a while since the batch of summer wheat beer exploded on me. Almost literally). That could be me and my hands.
I would like to take the little Don Draper wannabes who came up with this ad, grab them by their ears and sit their dumb asses down. I doubt any of them would be featured in a People’s “50 Most Beautiful” issue (of course, for that, you really need a publicist and an upcoming project due to be released shortly). And guys: where do you think your ugly mugs came from? Some of those "unattractive women" are your mothers and they probably die a little inside when their sons come up with this kind of shit. And get promotions based on it.
I’m a little sick of the phrase “War on Women” that’s been getting screamed from the rooftops during this never ending Presidential campaign. This, though, seems to tie into it. If we can verifiably do the same things men can, we’re not to be seen doing it (There was a “Law & Order” episode that was a riff on the Hewlett-Packard internal spying scandal. The Carly Fiorino analog was a nasty, back-stabbing scheming but pretty lesbian bitch. I don’t think Carly is gay. However, she tweaked and exaggerated her back story when she ran for Senator in 2010 and showed herself to be a “mean girl”, so who knows. Maybe she experimented in B school) or we MUST be ugly (fragile male egos? Who knows?) And if we are not within the physical mold that’s in vogue, we’re not to be seen or if that’s unavoidable, we’re to be ridiculed.
So, Ladies (and enlightened Gentlemen), if you are equally displeased, please join me in expressing your displeasure to them: firstname.lastname@example.org and in drinking pretty much anything else until they apologize/withdraw the ad.