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Objectifying Children In Advertising Essay

1238 words - 5 pages

One of the Huggies Diapers commercials recently seen on national television uses an unusual approach to convince the target market that Huggies are superior to all other diapers; these diapers are cutting-edge for their fashion and capacity to establish social dominance. The commercial implies in forty-three seconds that these diapers create exclusive and amazing living conditions for those fortunate children who wear them, particularly if the wearer is a male, white toddler. The marketing scheme utilizes the concepts of wealth and privilege as the requisites for determining not only diaper effectiveness but also present and perhaps future recognition, authority, social status, and success. The commercial suggests that children who wear these couture diapers are living in the lap of luxury: well-groomed and fashionably dressed, out on the town, acknowledged, capable, and secure, confident even with excrement in their pants. The absurd objective that these diapers claim to achieve does not offer credible evidence to diaper buyers to purchase these diapers for the purpose that diapers are intended.
Set to music reminiscent of a half-time show at a sports event, the commercial opens with a scene of two female Caucasian supermodel prototypes wearing dazzling jewelry, and stylish apparel and accessories, while conversing and dining alfresco. The women suddenly react with amazement to what now comes into view: a blond, blue-eyed, white male toddler. Swaggering down the expansive brick-paved sidewalk, he is dressed in a classic “preppie” outfit: button-down collar shirt and jeans. Only, his jeans are actually just a blue denim printed plastic disposable diaper, complete with facsimiles of back pockets. As the toddler struts, he is accompanied by a female who could be interpreted to be his mother, seen from her haute-couture waist down, and walking not alongside but behind the marvel of a toddler wearing a denim-printed plastic disposable diaper. On the way to their destination, which turns out to be a Rolls-Royce convertible limousine where the young and handsome male, white chauffer waiting ushers the toddler into the car, different characters convey their awe and esteem from the elegant, urban setting. The last scene shows the male toddler sitting in the back seat of the posh car looking over his shoulder at the audience. He is alone and unrestrained, not in a car seat, or wearing a seatbelt.
In addition to the upscale and sophisticated imagery, the toddler’s actions are synchronized to a monologue that articulates his thoughts in a deep male voice with a slight foreign accent. “My diaper is full,” the voice murmurs, “full of chic” (Huggies). The diaper appears to be full of something more substantial than chic; however, this toddler is self-possessed and poised, strolling down the avenue to the well-dressed crowd’s admiration. He briefly stops before a conveniently placed mirror to scrutinize and self-assuredly assess his...

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