Chapstick sticks it to women by Melissa Spiers, guest post

I have never been to Farmville or Café World or CityWhatever so I have no idea how they work.  But I want to create my own online universe.  It will be a museum, no, it will be a whole village: an online world ‘housing’ the vast collection of media messages that are degrading to women. Hey look, a picture of a woman’s ass.  Members could live in the various apartments, museums, cafes, stores, theaters, and schools where women are sold, displayed, minimized, belittled, objectified …or are just plain missing. Oh, she lost her Chapstick. And they could do their, whatever they do in online universes – work, farm, drink, eat, chat.

Of course, such a collection could only exist online, because there isn’t a building big enough to hold the real accumulation.

Welcome to the Visitor’s Center!  Upstairs is the Liquor Advertisements Wing.  I wonder where she lost it? Across the street, the Music Lyrics building.  And adjacent to that, the Movies and Television compound.

No, wait.  I will organize it according to degradation type instead of media type.  On this street we have the planned housing development of “Women Licking Objects.”   Whoa! Check out her ass! Over here, the ghost town of “Missing: Significant Roles for Women” (which includes, of course, the government buildings, churches, big business boardrooms, and TV & movie studios.)  Gosh, where IS that lost Chapstick?  And of course the shopping mall of “Fetishized Female Body Parts.” Yes, my village will reach to the horizon in every direction, a whole city of buildings filled with sexist advertising, music, books, movies and media of every kind. 

But why would anyone visit my online world, anyway?  Don’t we go online to experience an alternate reality? Chapstick! Woman’s Ass!  Have you ever gone through a day without being bombarded with any sexist messages or images?  Some of them are right out there, nothing subliminal about them  – see exhibits A through Z on the Rap Lyrics floor.  Lost. Chapstick. Ass. Others try to be subtle and sneaky (please take the audio tour in the Museum of Advertising).  Unfortunately, the use of women’s bodies to sell everything from beer to books has become so pervasive that we almost don’t see it anymore.  Hey, I bet I know where the Chapstick is!

So when we see it – what do we do about it? Well, I would encourage you to take Chapstick up on their bold-print offer to “Be Heard at Facebook.com/chapstick” except I’ve tried that: they delete any comments even remotely questioning or critical.  Hmmmm.  What asses.

Because Chapstick continues to delete our comments, Reel Girl started another FB page Butt seriously, Chapstick. Please visit and be heard.

Read Melissa Spiers’ follow-up to the ChapStick controversyNo Comment! A Commentary on the ChapStick Story

141 thoughts on “Chapstick sticks it to women by Melissa Spiers, guest post

  1. New found respect for Chapstick. My advice to the author, get your distorted back side to the gym and stop hating.

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  3. This is really interesting, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and sit up for in search of more of your great post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

  4. well you can be proud you stirred up a lot of feminist lip moisturizing controversy over a non offensive advert. This is why our world is crippled to put anything out there in fear that an overly sensitive blogger is waiting to plaster their ‘victimized’ nonsense all over a major company’s FB page. that’s what i find offensive. i would have deleted it too.

    i bet it all started when the company devilishly snuck their way into that Katy Perry song. cherry chapstick. girls kissing girls. can you believe the nerve!?

  5. I don’t understand how this is offensive. I think it’s a brilliant ad considering everyone looses their chapstick and ask the same question.

  6. Honestly, the chapstick ad doesn’t offend me in the least…

    What does offend, and truly shocks and saddens me to my core, is the plethora of hateful, crude and misogynistic comments left here by some very small and confused men.

    Don’t you [seemingly toolless] tools realize that YOU’RE the ones creating the very ‘feminist hysteria’ that then bleeds over into such silly things as ranting about a woman’s butt in an ad?! If people didn’t think like you* then maybe women like Melissa and Margot wouldn’t be so quick to jump on the I’m-offended-by-any-portrayal-of-female-sexuality-other-than-my-own train.

    But as long as there’s men* (in developed, 1st world, DEMOCRATIC nations–meaning: there’s no excuse NOT to know better) claiming the blogger must be fat or ugly or single or whatever other nasty assumption you make regarding her physicality, women will continue to feel judged, demoralized and even paranoid about what messages men [or ads] are sending.

    By focusing on and attacking her imagined looks, you are proving the very point she protests. Idiots.

    * Joey, Fred johnsen, Kyle, tacos, Morgan, to name a few…

    • Hi, I haven’t been replying anywhere on Margot’s blog because it was made clear to me a few days ago that I’m not welcome.

      But now that you’re calling me out by name, and to be honest I really don’t have the time at the moment to skim through 131 messages, I’m going to have to lay it out on the line and ask: What have I, specifically, said that would create the very feminist hysteria that then bleeds over into such silly things as ranting about a woman’s butt in an ad?

      I’ll tell you right now, very frankly, that I meant what I said about identifying with Margot as another parent who is concerned about media messages. I thought we could find common ground there. We can’t, because it turns out it’s really true what people say about feminists, they’re feminists first and everything else second — you have to agree with what they say, even when they get outraged over silly things, or else you’re given just so many chances to repent and then you’re exiled. You just proved it yet again. So…no, I’m not going to say feminists need vibrators, or anything like that, but it’s absolutely clear to me that what feminists do need, is to learn to say “I can appreciate that person’s opinion even though I disagree with him/her.” Particularly when the disagreement is over something the feminist finds offensive that the other person does not. From what I see so far, this is not the case.

      And if that is not the case, then in my book feminists are responsible for every conflict they have with anybody. It’s not possible to have a civil conversation with someone who takes the attitude of “You must agree with me or I’ll write a windy screed about you not being a decent person.” So…point to the example, if you can.

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  8. The woman in the ad is being treated as an object, not a person. How often does an ad show a part of a man’s body (eg torso, ass) but not his face?

    Chapstick may not have *meant* it that way (but, wait, the woman is young and slim and blonde and wearing skintight clothes! hmm) but if so their PR team is a bunch of fucking idiots. They need to admit the mistake and learn from it.

    • “How often does an ad show a part of a man’s body (eg torso, ass) but not his face?”

      Um, the stereotypical plumber’s crack?

    • Okay, looks like we have a new rule: If you can’t see a person’s face but you can see other body parts of that person, then that person is not being treated like a person and is being objectified.

      With all respect Karen, I submit this doesn’t hold up. Easily more than half of the television ads for womens’ beauty products, violate this rule you just made up. Hair products show hair, eyelash products show eyelashes, Nair showed legs, of course…so does Haynes. Need to haul that one back to the drawing board.

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  10. 2 Universal Truths:

    attractive women buy goods that are advertised by attractive women.

    unattractive women who can’t buy a date protest advertising that involve attarctive women.

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  12. Fuck You. why does this woman’s ass bother you so much? it is impossible to NOT see people’s asses all the time. how could you possibly fucking care about this? in what way does this picture make women unequal? in what way does a picture of a fully clothed woman looking f

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  14. It does astonish me how some people get personal and furious when people criticise advertising.

    Are they people who does not think big business can do any wrong, or are they hoping from freebies from Chapstick?

    Oh, andNewCanaanIndependent, if you think there is no such this as negative publicity, I would recommend reading about Gerald Ratner.

    Even if you don’t want to stop buying Chapstick because of the ad, wouldn’t it be great to stop buying Chapstick just to annoy the people who are sneering at Melissa?

    • I’m not furious, but all I can do is speak for myself.

      First thought in my head…and I have to wonder about anybody else who doesn’t have this thought in their head, first & foremost…is: Okay, let us grant for the sake of argument that this ad needs to be taken down because it’s offensive. What else has to go? There’s no nudity here. The “objectification” argument is a falsehood, since the consumer is clearly intended to identify with the woman looking for her Chapstick. But the ad needs to go, so we need to establish the criteria by which ads must be banished according to similar objections.

      All women have butts. So the rule must be, you can’t show them. Well to be realistic, it’s about dignified positioning. So okay…all women, in all ads, regardless of what the product is, have to be dignified.

      Does the same rule hold true for the men? Hah! Obviously not. Just take a random sampling. There’s a whole lot of crap to be sold to people who are ready to buy things if they just see the “man of the house” portrayed as a moron. Margot doesn’t take similar offense at that…although examples are everywhere. So the complaint ends up looking one-sided and, therefore, more than a little bit foolish. I’ve sided with her before on other things, but to be candid about it, this one’s just silly.

    • Wow people are retarded. I bet if it was a mans ass nobody would give a damn. Let me say something loud and clear for the record. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT SEX THE PERSON IS!!!!!!!!! WOAMN OR MAN DOESNT MAKE IT ANY MORE OR LESS OFFENSIVE. Stupid feminists who think a picture of a womans ass is offensive meanwhile these are the same women who probably where clothes that flash their cleavage and show off their bodies yet a clothed woman with her ass in the air in an ad is too obscene!!!!! get a life. Look at all the ads and commercials that have ever been around. Tons of them rage with sexual innuendos and derogatory messaging but yet no one really seems to complain about those!!!! I highly doubt that any woman who looks half way decent would really care about an ad like this. Basically what im saying is that all you ugly females out there, guess what? Its not our problem you look the way you look or weigh as much as you weigh so dont get all tensed up over a stupid ad.
      Any woman who gets offended by this stuff are women you wouldnt want to be seen with in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. Really? There is enough genuinely offensive advertising to focus on – not sure why you’d bother getting worked up by this. I don’t particularly like the ad, but as a woman, I feel neither offended nor degraded, objectified, belittled or patronised. There are other things more worthy of your energy.

    If I lived in your village, this whole rant of yours would be an advert for anti-PMT tablets. And that I would be offended by, because I actually don’t get irate and irrationally upset by non-existent slights by ‘the man’, only real ones.

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  21. Wow..it’s funny how people get easily offended in ads and in fact, they should take a look at themselves. FYI…the person in the ad is actually a guy. People are always looking to find some negative saying to others ideas. Hint….our society is being a little bitch and complaining too much.

  22. What stuns me is the overwhelming negativity, derision and contempt for someone expressing their own opinion on a private blog. Women ARE used exploitatively in advertising. Yet someone calls bullshit on that, and everyone attacks? “She’s not getting laid,” “she’s throwing a hissy fit,” “she’s probably ugly,” “she’s just trying to get page views,” aren’t there more important issues?” Seriously? These are intellectually lame reactions to someone’s point, which was ALSO about comment deletion.

    Nothing changes unless people notice there’s a problem and say something. Whether or not you agree with their opinion or the significance of the problem, we’re all entitled to expressing our opinions, including those of you who don’t see the problem and don’t think it’s worthy of a blog post. What’s saddening is that most of the responses are simply personal, emotional attacks rather than rational arguments – many of the most emotional ones are from men.

    Look in your compact mirror – indeed.

  23. The only sad thing here is that Chapstick caved to Margot’s silly whining. There is nothing offensive or demeaning about this ad, the “offense” lies in the delusional mind of this attention whore of this blogger. What about the 90% of ads and sitcoms that portray men as hapless dopes, unable to cook a meal or tie their shoes without their all knowing, ever wise wife (yet oddly these idiot men are always somehow able to hold jobs as architects or engineers to bring home the bacon to that adoring woman) Is Margot “offended” by that?

  24. I am with you Margot. This ad needed calling attention to. I am disheartened by the comments you have gotten and wondering why so few of your readers realize that it is not this or that one ad, but the whole culture of advertising that you were calling attention to. Which does objectify women’s bodies–and which therefore contributes to the insensitivity that we have towards women’s problems more generally. Good for you!

    • Brilliant marketing campaign with a huge PR aftershock! Brilliant!

      Thanks to the pseudo-intellectual,​ pseudo-forever-the-victim sexists out there, Chapstick / Pfizer has scored $10’s of millions in increased consumer awareness for the cost of a single advertising campaign.

      Noting the faux uproar, Chapstick / Pfizer will attempt to ameliorate those offended by the first ad as follows:

      A second phase of the campaign will reprise the set-up of the first ad but will feature a similarly posed “Michelle Obama-esque” gender neutral female in relaxed fit jeans, a plaid flannel work shirt and thick-soled Doc Martins showing neck & arm tat’s, a little flesh overlap at the waist and the hint of a tramp stamp on her exposed lower back and upper buttocks.

      That’s sure to be an ad that keeps on working overtime for the brand.

      Brilliant!

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  26. There are women in this world who suffer untold horrors and discrimination because of their gender. I don’t think this hardly sexual ad was really worth making a fuss about.

    • Erik, that’s a very good point, and something I was thinking myself.
      The problem with people who get so radically offended about something like this, is that it takes the focus AWAY from the real issues women face in life.

      It’s like “hey, we know women are brutalized every day, in every country. we know they are raped, beaten, tortured, enslaved, every day. but this Chapstick ad is sooooo offensive that this is the kind of treatment of women that needs to stop NOW!”

      I personally think that a woman’s body is beautiful, and she should be able to do with it as SHE pleases. If she wants to strut around in a bikini, or wear a burka, it’s her choice.
      NO ONE should be able to make the choice for her, including those self-satisfied know-it-alls who won’t rest until the rest of us think exactly the way they do.

      Someone telling me what to do, that’s what offends me. As a woman.

  27. What a terrifying world we have created for ourselves…. The opinion of one does not equal the opinion of all, and most certainly is not any more or less important than anyone else’s opinion. If you choose to feel offended by something–anything–then fine. But how dare you attack anyone else whose opinions aren’t the same as yours!? The comments on here are just sickening: that we should all be offended by a BUTT!? FYI: Everyone has a butt! If you feel the need to read more into it, I can’t stop you, but I will say that it can’t be healthy to be so easily outraged by such small things in life… Your life must be so painful. This picture is meant to be awkward, funny, and relatable. I’d like to see you search for a Chapstick behind your couch without putting your butt in the air!!!

  28. Hey Margot, did you ever stop to think that maybe it was just an ad that YOU and several other overly politically correct individuals took too far?

    Don’t think that by having ChapStick “apologize” means that you changed something or made an impact because really, they only responded because people like you made a fuss and blew up their facebook for no apparent reason.

    Funny thing about this ad is (I’m a guy), I looked at it…and I didn’t really think “wow a girl’s ass!” but rather, I looked at it and thought “what’s this about?” and read the words. Kinda funny to me actually because I lose my ChapStick all the time.

    “*Gasp* someone actually thought the ad was relateable, and they’re a guy?”

    I’m pissed that people like you continue to ruin my ability to actually ENJOY something without wondering what the politically correct backlash is going to be. I’m sure this would NOT be a problem if a guy was in the same position with his shirt off. You’d probably enjoy that, I’m sure.

    Your quest to create “equality” is squandered by your attempts to call out everything you perceive as “sexist” rather than actually striving for equality in the workplace, athletics, etc. You are trying to create a world where women 1) can’t do what they want in the first place. 2) Have to worry about wether or not they are constantly being taken advantage of. 3) Aren’t allowed to show ANY skin or be shown in anything other than the seated position in fears of being called manipulated by the “male pigs.”

    Wise up and realize it’s 2011. I’m a guy and really, most of us aren’t brainwashed to believe women are inferior or bred to hate/degrade women.

  29. Get a life. It’s just a picture of a fully clothed woman. I could understand the fuss if she was naked or close to it. As long as people continue to devote such massive amounts of time to trivial and insignificant things, such as a chapstick ad, the real problems of the world will continue to rage on.

  30. You’re absolutely correct. Seeing a woman’s hindquarters clad in jeans is incredibly tittilating and will send males into an uncontrollable frenzy of sin, preventing them from getting into heaven. I support your call to force this hussey and all other women into burkhas, and end this horrible violation of people’s rights.

  31. Much ado about nothing. While negative comments should not be deleted, someone decided it was a good idea and they were. This made the situation worse.
    Really anything and everything is offensive to somebody these days, it’s just that people can now more easily complain, and be heard. Others just roll with it and here you go. The ad is at best childish, but just not offensive unless you want it to be. PC does sometimes run rampant, this is proof of it.

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  33. So Margot gets her 15 minutes on the back of Chapstick, shows that she must be a cold fish, best left to rot, and if I was Chapstick, I would fire my social team…

    That said, please all you “it’s sexist and you’re clueless” I think you need to pull out your compact mirror and take a hard look at your self. Was the ad aimed at you, probably not since no one will want a kiss from you, and I would hazard a guess that your A$$ end is probably not all that great either.

    Complaining on FB? Really? I am offended now that Margot posted such a sexist picture, how could she, you are even worse then the Chapstick folks, they at least pulled the ad down, butt you felt it should stay up until the END (_|_)

  34. Margie, You women are so cute when you try to be big girls! Now that you’ve had your fun, leave the real world to the men and get your cute little butt back in the kitchen, where you obviously belong.

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  37. It’s pathetic blogs like this that make the case against everyone having a voice. I’m buying as much Chapstick as possible from now on.

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  39. So… should we be offended by the Old Spice Commericals? I mean it does show a black guy (gasp!) surrounded by ‘manly’ things such as hose, hard hat, chainsaw and other things as he washes his bare chest in the shower, lathered up and looking at us with a winsome smile. I mean, I know if I was a man, I’d be horribly offended and feel it was entirely too sexist to think that a real man would ever be caught dead in such a position. There’s such a thing as being proud of your gender and then there’s a difference when you sound like a batshit whack job feminazi.

  40. Also, showing a woman’s butt and/or her pelvis in a disembodied fashion feeds many, many of the different psychosis out there of men who are unable to emotionally connect with women.

    In this context, it is degrading because Chapstick can then be accused of using women to feed a societal sickness that should not be fed.

    • so should we ban all footwear ads, so as to not trigger a response from those who have a foot fetish?
      Ban all ads featuring children, because we definitely don’t want to attract any pedophiles (not that I would anyway)
      Ban all ads featuring animals, because we don’t want to attract anyone who is into bestiality
      We could just limit ads to pictures of the product itself — but we better make sure there are no images in the background, or rain, or sunshine, that can be construed by some as applying some hidden meaning or purpose to the ad. So we should just show a picture of the product against a white background.
      And let’s no have any text or voice-over, because someone may read between the lines and pick up some anti-female, sexual connotation to the words.

      oo, oo, oo!! I know —
      let’s ban all advertising!
      That should help make sure that no one, anywhere, can gather ANYTHING from the ad other than the message the product manufacturer intended.

  41. Ha! That looks like me when I’m looking for my chapstick, except my ass is a little bigger! This ad is not even remotely offensive or sexist. Get the fuck over it, please.

  42. Everyone seems to be missing the point. It’s not sexist because it’s showing a woman’s butt. It’s sexist because it implies that women are so stupid they are constantly losing their Chapsticks. Really people. Get with the program.

    Looks like I left some sarcasm on my keyboard.

  43. Let me just say that I’m sick and tired of how both genders are stereotyped.

    Having said that I’m not sure this add was meant to “take advantage” of a women’s ass. The ass is just of the body, and I would think it very hard to take a picture of someone bending over without capturing the that portion of the body. There’s nothing sexual or demeaning about this ad. Look around and you’ll find tens of thousands of degrading ads, why did you choose this one?

    Just Google “30 Freakiest Ads of 2010” to get started. Just about everything in advertising today is boiled down to stereotypes.

    • I have to agree, the person who is complaining about this add has to be totally out of her mind or she is jealous of the fact she doesnt look as good. Just more bullshit from some frustrated lesbian who wants to strip away any feminine attributes for some one who looks more like some dog from mars.

  44. Laura: Talk about getting real; it’s time for you to take your head out of your ass where it’s apparently been firmly planted for some time. Watch TV for a couple of hours some day and count the number of commercials where the man is portrayed as the idiot and the woman as the intellectual. Everything from car commercials to beer, candy, fast food, and everything in between. Easily 9 out of 10 commercials portray men this way.

    • probably because women control the purse strings when it comes to shopping. Women are the primary decision makers when it comes to major purchases such as appliances, cars, furniture, etc.

      And I agree — Laura, get your head out of your ass. You take Chapstick to task for this ad? What was your response to the last Victoria’s Secret ad. How do you react to ads for plastic surgery that plays on a woman’s insecurity about her looks? Or how about the ads that promote the use of cosmetics? Or designers who use stick-thin models who represent an unreal body image that women starve themselves to attain?

      The woman in the Chapstick ad seems to have a healthy body, and there is nothing sexual in the representation.
      I think you could find better channels for your anger at all things anti-you.

  45. I guarantee you if it was a guy in place of the woman, there would be no controversy. Too much influence by feminists these days, training women to think everything is aimed at trying to degrade them, but yet its okay to hate men. Go figure. I’m sure plenty of these comments whining about the picture are posted by women. If some are by men, then they need to grow some balls and quit playing the knight in shinning armor, girls will not sleep with you for trying to be on their side or “rescue” them lol.

  46. Margaret Grow Up will you or movew to Saudi Arabia where you aren’t even allowed to hug your significant other in the street. Want to complain about sexualizing go complain about Victoria’s Secret ads not a simple non sexualizing chapstick ad

  47. Well, here is your museum, lol. I was rather offended by your new Fb page… “Butt seriously, Chapstick” I thought the “about” was vulger and suggestive: “Hopefully, they’ll get it in the end,” see EVERYTHING can be sexualized! Not to mention the fact that YOU are USING THEIR AD for your benefit??? And by the way, this post was poorly written, hard to follow and disconnected. I do however, understand where you are coming from with degrading images of women. You just choose a poor example for your battle.

  48. I agree Melissa. I mean, so many women are out there in the world objectifying themselves that they really don’t need competition from a company like Chapsdick.

    Unless and until women stop objectifying themselves with the clothes they wear and the way they advertise they are nothing more than sexual objects, the ads predicated upon objectifying women will continue; and rightly so.

    You women need to stop looking to men and companies to do for you something that you can only do for yourselves and stop taking matters into your own hands. Men and companies see you as mere objects because that is the way you see yourselves. You are just too dumb (are you blond?) to see things as they are.

  49. Deleting the comments because they’re stupid. Not sure exactly how this could be sexist. I wonder if Kong publishing a picture of me digging through the couch for my dog’s Kong would somehow be considered sexist?!? Sorry, but there are more important “injustices” to be considered…

  50. wow…….what a busy body.. i bet you whine about everything.. the ad isnt the problem, its people like you always trying to find problems where there arent any and wanting to stir up sh*t.. find something better to do with your time….why not be outraged by serious issues, not a harmless lip balm ad.. get a life…..

  51. FUNNY ad! If you see something sexual, you could make anything sexual. I could see my daughter doing the SAME thing and it makes me laugh. The reason it’s not a male desperately seeking his Chapstick is because few boys would do that. They would just chalk it up as gone.

  52. (WARNING SARCASM AHEAD)

    I’m MORE offended that NO ONE seems to notice the left hand (palm facing the viewer) above her rear-end.

    Does the MALE species need to be degraded any further? Clearly you can see that she’s not looking for her Chapstick but yet, is kissing a man with SUCH VIGOR that she’s knocked him backwards over the couch, further validated by her hair “flying”. When will men stop being objectified as such kissable beings that we make women’s rear-ends rise in the air?

    Well, either it’s a man’s hand or a woman’s, I wouldn’t want to be too gender biased (Oh Chapstick you’ve really stepped in it now ;-p). OR it’s just a massive Photoshop Disaster waiting to be highlighted at http://www.psdisasters.com.

    a) it’s a so-so ad and likely would have been pulled once it was clear it wasn’t making anyone answer the call-to-action/bump in sales
    b) at least you’re not deleting comments, so kudos to you
    c) Pfizer shouldn’t be deleting the comments but that’s what happens when lawyers run the social media rules versus people who understand the medium.

    • LOL, The hand was the first thing I noticed! And I was thinking the same thing!!! A guy behind the couch being attacked, rofl!

  53. “Like, OMG it’s just an AD! Lighten UP! Like, why are you so offended that the bodies of your entire gender are constantly used objectively to sell shit? Aren’t you used to patriarchy by now?”

    Do you people HEAR yourselves? “Lighten up” and “it’s just an ad/toy/movie/film/one person” is SUCH a common response to sexism. Guess what? It’s important because it’s a part of a huge, ongoing problem. Get your heads out of YOUR asses and quit whining that the people around you actually give a damn about how women are treated in society. It’s fine if you don’t want to use your brain because it’s easier to be a mindless little drone, but don’t freak out on those of us who would prefer to think critically about our surroundings.

    • The problem with people like you, is that in your zeal to “save” all of us poor women from the horrible treatment we receive in our daily lives, you have apparently made a decision that we are too stupid to think/speak/act for ourselves. So you take it upon yourselves to think/speak/act for us, because we are just women, who apparently CAN’T use our brains.
      according to you.
      this offends me.

  54. Clearly by looking at the comments on your post, you hit the nail on the head with this sentence: “Unfortunately, the use of women’s bodies to sell everything from beer to books has become so pervasive that we almost don’t see it anymore.”

    The advertisers knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to make an ad with a woman’s ass as the focus. They’re trying to sell a product and they’re doing it with a woman’s body. Thanks for your post.

    • yes, we shouldn’t use women’s bodies to sell products anymore.
      Let’s use kittens.
      but then we will probably get in trouble with the ASPCA.

  55. #1 Anyone offended by this ad seriously needs wake up and smell the year 2011. Why are people so close minded and uptight? It’s not like the woman was wearing a thong. THEN I might see it being a little offensive. Are you not a woman? Do you not have an ass?

    #2 I don’t agree with Chapstick deleting the comments. You shouldn’t ever delete anything. All it does is make people think YOU THINK you have done something wrong. I do think that it is justified to delete certain comments but every single one? Consumers are entitled to their opinions, after all it is them who buys the products, however, people really need to grow up and learn how to express their opinions without having to drop the f-bomb 5 times in a 19 word sentence. That doesn’t show intelligent opinions but ignorance.

    My family is HUGE users of Chapstick and this ad won’t change that. I would prefer to see a hot guys ass bending over that couch but hey, it’s still an ass.

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  57. While most people wait and wonder on Chapstick’s next move and/or apology, I’m sitting here wondering when you’re going to apologize for writing probably the most inane blog post I’ve read in a long time. You were seriously offended by that ad? I think you need to tighten your grip on reality a little bit.

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  62. This ad is not sexual at all, and in no way degrading to women. Seems like your just complaining to try and stir up controversy and page views I guess. It must be working, but the whole basis of your rant is utterly ridiculous

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  71. I found the add a clever concept. could it have been handled better, of course, but ultimately there is nothing sexual about this add, she has her butt in the air sure,but am I no longer allowed to tie my shoes in public because it’s degrading to women?
    Now Chapstick really should not have deleted the comments, that is an entirely different problem. but as for the add, take the knot out of your panties and find something useful to focus your energy on.

  72. As a woman who has been up and down the corporate ladder, I don’t have any issues with this ad concept…the design stinks, but other than that? Seriously? I’ve been arse up many times looking for something behind the couch or underneath. To the above posters point, do you rant and rave about the Calvin Klein underwear models 30 stories high in Times Square or Piccadily? I’m guessing not. There is a whole huge world out there in turmoil. How about focusing on that?

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  74. Sexist? You obviously don’t live with a Chapstick addict like I do. This is a common sight in our house, only it’s my husband’s rear I see as he desperate searches for one of his millions of tubes of the stupid stuff.

    I see sexist ads all day and I don’t see it with this one. To each his or her own I guess.

  75. There is nothing sexual or derogatory about this ad campaign. This idiotic blog post and the controversy it has caused has done more damage to serious efforts at gender equality than anything else. It’s tragic because serious activists are likely to be taken less seriously thanks to tripe like this.

  76. I have no clue why this is a big deal, unless you make it a big deal. It’s a picture of a woman looking for her chapstick. It’s not an ad about a woman’s ass. I’m a woman and this ad didn’t offend me in the least. I think the reaction just goes to show how stupid the internet can be. “I have a blog! I can comment! Let’s get fired up…over chapstick!”

    It’s time to take a step back and worry about REAL problems. This is so incredibly stupid I can’t even believe I took the time to read about it or even comment on it.

  77. Agreed that it’s bs they’re deleting fans’ comments – but seriously, THIS is the ad you’re spending time ripping apart? Suppose it really speaks only to people who are true chapstick lovers – cause I have TOTALLY been in that exact situation before lol – but it’s not about the butt, it’s about the search. You’re pissed at the WORLD and SOCIETY for giving attention to things like this – BY GIVING IT ATTENTION. This is even more hilarious than the ad itself. Which is pretty funny. (If you use bic lighters, you also personally relate to this ad. :))

  78. Actually, it’s not her ass that makes it sexist. See how the sofa cushions on the left side are positioned in such a way, that along with the red pillow, looks like a mouth and tongue – just waiting, WAITING for the right moment to lick her? THAT’S why it’s sexist. (I’m being sarcastic, btw.)

  79. While one certainly cannot deny sexism is all over advertising, this one doesn’t seem to be it. As another comment asked, how else does one look when digging behind the sofa. Go ahead have someone take your picture doing it!

    Now, if the model were in her underwear or g-string, then it would be over-the-top. But not in those jeans. If this was a video and the woman started from standing got on the couch to search behind it, then sort of flipped over the couch–would it still be bad to you? ’cause that is they way I see it. The gaps I’m filling in in the story are not what you are worried about!

    It looks like this was going more for comedy and universality of the experience than sexploitation.

    And I hope this isn’t a sexist question: but isn’t their target mostly women? If so, that too should turn down the sexism charges. Or are we saying this is a crass attempt to get men to try the brand?

  80. Seriously lady chill, I bet you don’t complain about the Armani ads with shirtless men or Calvin Klein ads with men in boxers. The ad was effective, it got your attention, is it a stretch for relevancy, yes, but effective nonetheless. The woman in it is fully clothed, and you can see nothing that you can’t see everyday walking down the street. Now come on, get off your high horse and take it for what it is, an advertisement that draws your attention and therefore is effective.

  81. Must be a slow news day if we’re blogging about this and letting it fire us up. Maybe I should complain about every movie with Brad Pitt in it, or every clothing catalog featuring a male model.

  82. You people are reading too much into one image… She’s digging her chapstick out from behind a freaking couch! How else are you supposed to do that without being ass up in the air… I found this ad hilarious and in no way sexualized or inappropriate. And I’m a woman. Get over it and move on…

  83. Get over yourself. Is the woman scantily clad? Is it zoomed in focused on her butt? There are plenty of ads out there selling products by featuring shirtless men with rock solid abs.

    Sorry, but sex sells. It goes both ways. This ad is harmless. Be upset about something important.

  84. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Melissa. And your last line sums it up perfectly–they are asses! I, too, buy Bert’s Bees (or better–locally made honey lip balm!!!) and will not be buying Chapstick any time soon!

  85. When I saw that picture it never occurred to me that the main point of focus was her ass. Not that I don’t see and revile sexist crap — but if you avoid major media (and TV especially), it has much less presence.

    Instead of doing this enormous presentation of even more negative stereotyped presentations of women, how about doing one that presents *positive* images of women? Make your point that way. The world doesn’t need more ugliness, and you can make your point just as well, methinks.

  86. My husband said, “I’ve never lost my chapstick up my ass.” To which I added, “Or anyone else’s, I hope.” 🙂

    I actually think the campaign concept is cute. The image is ridiculous.

  87. Ironically I find the page they’re pointing us to – their FB page – even more offensive than the original ad, with the giant photo of the woman’s butt and the tag line: “ChapSticks® love to play hide-and-seek. Where does yours love to hide? My ChapStick® loves to hide______”
    Then the fact that they immediately erase anything even remotely critical is ridiculous.

  88. The documentary film “Miss Representation” is excellent about the history of women in the media…a must for young women and men to see. Amazing.

  89. I can’t believe they are deleting the comments! It’s like Nazis. Leave the negative comments up and RESPOND to them. LAME. I love my Chapstick, and if they had been grown up about it, accepted the feedback and made a change, I would have stuck with them. But I have to say, this will be the end for me.

    • You have got to be kidding me. You think that removing bad comments can be comparable to anything remotely related to the Nazi’s. You need to rethink your life. We’re talking about some bloggers comments being removed. Not genocide, or war, or hatred, or anything similar to the Nazi’s. You should be ashamed by your comment and banned from this board. The fact that you are on the side of “Reel Girl” and she is okay keeping comments related to Nazi’s on her blog, completely delegitimizes her entire way. It shows that she’d rather keep all her comments of support up, no matter if they are completely out of line and disgusting. Shame on you.

  90. So, the same ad concept could be done without sexual connotations. I mean, “Chapstick user indulges in crazy acrobatics to find missing Chapstick” could actually be funny and inoffensive. Maybe what we need is a grassroots campaign of people sending Chapstick photos of how they could have done it without the “Hey, ASS!” aspect.

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