Having seen this staggeringly wretched thing yesterday myself, Andrea couldn’t be righter on it.
I watch Tucker Carlson regularly. I don’t always agree with him, but I find him engaging and informative. However, when the show cuts to commercials, I hit the mute button. Today, I couldn’t find the clicker and found myself watching a Gillette Venus commercial celebrating pubic hair, something I found vulgar. However, my attitude changed when I realized why I was watching this ad: it’s a signal that advertisers are recognizing that, if they want to reach Democrats in the coveted (because profitable) 25–54 demographic, they must advertise on Tucker.
The commercial is not obscene. As I said, it’s just vulgar. If my kids were still young, I would not be very happy to have the news interrupted by a commercial focused on “pubes” and having singing pubic hairs on the beach.
As a general matter, that commercial represents the decay and coarsening of public culture. Once upon a time, whenever people were out in public, they wore nice clothes, hats, and gloves. The idea of wearing pajamas and slippers in public or going out with one’s pants falling down or a barely-there top was inconceivable.
Actually, as tawdry and repulsively-TMI as this dumpster fire of a commercial is, there’s a cultural aspect that I find at least mildly interesting, which Widberg’s next two ‘graphs bring to mind without overtly mentioning.
Nevertheless, when looked at the correct way, those dancing pubic hairs tell us something very good. For decades, nightly news shows have tended to have commercials that cater to old people: tactfully phrased ads for hemorrhoid relief, will-writing software, and digestive aids. The shows were not geared toward or reaching a younger audience.
This ad, though, is defiantly directed to young people, and not stodgy young people, either. So why would Gillette (which ran into trouble with conservatives over its embrace of so-called transgenderism and “toxic masculinity”) buy ad time to cater to edgy young women and, I guess, young men? The answer is, they’re buying ads because you go where the customers are.
And WOOT, there it is…almost.
Over recent years, as at least some of you out there must surely be aware, it’s become fashionable among a certain demographic, amongst both men and women, to trim, sculpt, or completely shave their pubes. Ever notice the overnight preponderance in retail outlets from Wal Mart to Walgreens of the suddenly-ubiquitous “personal trimmer” devices? Let me assure you, folks: those handy little appliances are by no means exclusively for purposes of keeping one’s beard, mustache, or sideburns neat and well-groomed.
Actually, in my not-trivial experience, I have to say that the majority of those “personal trimmers” will spend much more of their time being run over, across, and around various, shall we say, intimate regions than they will faces, armpits, and/or necks.
Call it part and parcel of life on the rock and roll road, but it in truth became not only vanishingly rare but also an unwelcome occurrence to run across a full, gnarly, unkempt bush on the ready, willing, and able babes one might end up with after a show. TMI again, perhaps, but, well, there it is.
A friend of mine even went so far as to pay the extra fee for a street-legal “personalized” NC license plate on his car which read “SMOOTHIES.” Yes, it meant exactly what you think it did. He told me he was pretty danged surprised that the state agreed without demur to allow such a thing, whereupon I responded that the morbidly obese, ill-tempered black lady at the tag bureau who filled out the DMV forms probably hadn’t the vaguest clue what was meant by it. We had ourselves many a good, long laugh over that one.
Emblematic of the steady coarsening of American culture? Indubitably so. Making a public display of something that society would be better off keeping a strictly private matter? Hey, no argument from here. An indication of the general de-evolutionary climb-down from long-accepted standards of mannerliness, good taste, and personal modesty? Yup. Nonetheless, I do find this broad shift in attitudes, and especially the way in which technology quietly adapted to accommodate and commercialize said shift, to be a fairly interesting phenomenon.
I long ago lost my capacity for dismay or distaste in reaction to finding myself taking a roll in the proverbial hay with a girl sporting a cute little “landing strip” on or about her nethers, if I ever had any such to begin with; I ain’t no prude, never have been and never will be. All the same, I’d just as soon not have to put up with TV commercials discussing that sort of thing, thanksveddymuch. I do get why Gillette would want to capitalize on what they perceive as a booming and underserved market niche, really I do. But shouldn’t there be at least some things that we can all agree are out of bounds, and not fodder for pub(l)ic discussion?