Someone recently left a comment here that consisted solely of an Oscar Wilde quote:
It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.
Apparently, it’s a problem I have, taking myself (and the world around me) too seriously. Well, whatever, because I’m about to do it again:
I generally don’t watch the SuperBowl. I find football to be boring and uninventive, and I’ve only gone to SuperBowl parties for the free beer (I may take myself too seriously, but I’m not ashamed to admit when I’m a mooch). This year, however, I was glued to the tv for the entire duration of the game, minus the 15 minutes it took me to drive home from my aunt’s house during the 3rd quarter. I participated in a football pool at work this year – another something I’ve never done before – and though I only spent $5, I was eligible to win up to $500. I got nothin’, of course. I have the worst luck.
I did, however, manage to see quite a few of the much-hyped commercials. Some of them were pretty funny (the FedEx carrier pigeons, the Night at the Roxbury Pepsi ad, the cars.com Glondor-stone-circle-of-death), although one of them in particular really irritated me: the Planters commercial, featuring a woman who is obviously meant to be perceived as unattractive and undesirable (she has a unibrow, an overbite, poorly applied and outdated makeup, a sloppy-ish hairdo, outdated clothes, etc.). The commercial shows man after man lusting after her, giving her sidelong desiring glances, tripping over themselves, running into (and breaking) glass doors, chasing down a bus – all in a quest to be near her. The culmination of the commercial depicts this woman in the privacy of her home with a can of cashews. She opens the can, selects a single cashew, and rubs it on her neck, her wrists, behind her ears and then – after a careful glance around – she dabs the nut just at the opening of her shirt, where her cleavage is visible. (You can see the video for yourself over at YouTube).
So apparently Planters wants us to know that women are good for only one thing: sex appeal. And, lacking that, the only way to get a man to notice us is to rub nuts all over ourselves.
Oh, the amazing wit it took to come up with that message. Rub nuts all over ourselves. Jesus.
Because it’s not plausible at all that a woman who doesn’t fit the standard definition of beautiful could find a partner worthy of mentioning, right? It’s not plausible at all that this woman is perhaps desired for her intelligence or talent, her compassion or quick wit, her sense of humor or intuitive nature.
Of course it’s not plausible – and you certainly won’t find the media or celebrity couples depicting many examples of the Ugly Chick + Hot Guy = Good Couple dynamic. No, there we find just the opposite: Ugly Dude + Hot Chick = Good Couple (with the added bonus of Dude’s a Stud!).
While I can only think of a two examples of the former dynamic, both of which are somewhat debatable (Harrison Ford / Melissa Mathison, Star Jones / Al Reynolds), I can think of scores of the latter dynamic: Donald Trump / any of his wives, Salman Rushdie / Padma Lakshmi, Keith Richards / Patti Hansen, Billy Bob Thornton / Angelina Jolie, Rod Stewart / several relationships, Fred Thompson / Jeri Thompson. So of course, with so many real-life examples of how the Ugly Dude gets the girl, there’s no need to advertise men wiping chocolate behind their ears or rubbing strawberries around their groins.
Although, really, fruit doesn’t have quite the innuendo that cashews do.