I watch a-lot of Hulu and therefore a-lot of Hulu commercials.
Commercials that enforce gender stereotypes are so common I rarely think
to comment on them, but this commercial for the Samsung Focus Flash
struck me as extra offensive because of how aggressively it tells
audiences to conform to their gender or face public social media
The commercial goes like this: Two dudes “banter” with each other.
Dude One posts a video of Dude Two crying in a movie theater to
humiliate him. When Dude Two retaliates by asking him about things he
saw on facebook related to his girlfriend, Dude One ups the ante,
threatening to post a video of him wearing a shower cap and (possibly
shaving his legs?) in the bathtub.
I don’t really get the point of this commercial. Is it that you can
ruin your friend’s lives faster with the new Samsung Focus Flash? Is it
about how easy it is to film people without their consent on your new
One direct antidote to this kind of depressing, shitty advertising is
Ryan Heffington and his followers. I was first introduced to Heffington
on RuPaul’s drag race where he teaches a small group of final
contestants choreography for a RuPaul video. I loved his style and his
attitude. There is something about someone who is rocking heels and a
mustache that just fills me with delight. I think it’s knowing that they
are being exactly who they want to be.
After investigating Heffington further I found out about Sweaty Sundays
and Wet Wednesdays, classes where dancers follow his lead, dressing
creatively in short shorts, unitards, day-glo spandex, sweatbands, and
whatever else they might be inspired to wear. (Check out this youtube video of them dancing to a great Gossip remix)
In an interview with LA Weekly
Heffington said, “What we do is celebratory. By the end of class,
everyone’s personalities are lighter. It’s not yoga, where you focus on
yourself. It’s a group effort and everyone’s simultaneously releasing
this magic that I couldn’t give by myself.”
No one is freaking out because they cry at movies or shave their
legs. They’re out there owning that shit and dancing their hangovers off
on Sunday morning! What a sad, narrow little world people confine
themselves to when they listen to advertising. Fuck advertising*, and
release some magic instead.
*Ok, don’t fuck all advertising. Some advertising is amazing. So really, fuck shallow stupid self-hate generating advertising.