Sunday, October 20

You're smart; it's not about the girl

I'm bugged by that "glossophobia" advertisement on the television. You know, the kid who does all the research on speaking well in front of an audience? The point of the ad, I thought, was that the child does all the research, and practices, and is prepared, so he can perform well at his speech. But apparently, it was all for a higher, and even more mighty, cause: he was able to impress the girl in his class.
Whatever happened to kids doing well in school being its own reward? Why is the opinion of the girl in the class even relevant? Why does Google (or whoever it is; I don't even know, which makes the ad that much more worth it for them) make such a big deal about young love in what is supposed to be a victorious ad about conquering one's fears about speaking in public?
Why do advertisers insist on romanticizing and sexualizing every little thing on a commercial? The kid should be happy with himself because he did well on his speech, and end it right there. It shouldn't be about the girl who smiles at him because he does his speech so well.
The only way this could bother me even more is if the genders were reversed, and the advertiser dumbed down the girl's experience, and made it all for the smile from a boy. (That's vaguely sexist of me, but I'm more concerned with empowerment of girls than boys, for obvious reasons.) But still, this kid should be proud of his achievement and all the self esteem improvements that go along with that, not encouraged to do it just to make the pretty girl smile.

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