Clearasil and the Laundry Robot Mom

Ok seriously, Clearasil?!

I get it. I do a lot of laundry. Wait – I’m taking this personally. I meant to say:

Moms do a lot of laundry. A LOT.

You don’t have to remind us. It’s the bane of our existence. (I wrote two blog posts about laundry in the past two weeks.) We do more laundry than we ever thought possible. Frankly, it’s embarrassing how much we interact with laundry, both in the physical I’m-doing-the-laundry way and in the mental I-spilled-coffee-again or I’m-in-Target-should-I-buy-detergent kind of way. Laundry laundry laundry.

But that ad, Clearasil. COME ON. Essentially, the mom is a laundry robot. Not even a subtle robot that doesn’t resemble or speak like a robot – but she’s actually a dead lady robot in the last scene and she’s STILL DOING LAUNDRY. She does nothing BUT LAUNDRY for YEARS.

Not that I’m blaming you, Clearasil, for glass ceiling or the ERA, but it’s not a really nice way to be represented. Watching and identifying with this portrayal doesn’t make me feel particularly gratified or accomplished. It seems a little pigeon-holey. On its own, I might not even mention it, it’s just that this particular trope has been a tad overused (a tad?) in the history of American advertising.

And also, Clearasil – you’re not even selling laundry soap. You’re selling skin soap. Make me a dermatologist next time. A scientist. Or, if you can’t bring yourself to give us a job, how about a hobby? Or a friend. A dog even.

I’m hurt, frankly. And Clearasil – You know who actually does the purchasing of your product, right? Moms do.

Posted by

Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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