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Bic Flubs Again, Releases Ad Telling Women to “Look Like a Girl… Think Like a Man”

What fresh hell...

bic womens day ad

Bic blew it again when they released an incredibly misguided ad on South Africa’s Women’s Day. The ad, pictured above, recommends that women “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, and work like a boss.” Yeah. Okay. Sure. What the hell?

You’ll remember that Bic has been in hot water for their awful marketing before. After all, they were the company who thought a For Her line of pens was a good idea. Of course, they were hilariously wrecked by Amazon reviews. You’d think after that last debacle they wouldn’t screw up again, right? Ah, how wrong you would be. How wrong, indeed.

There’s a bunch of problems with this ad. First, as astutely pointed out by a commenter on the ad, what’s up with the whole “looking like a girl” thing? “Look like a girl? Because the infantilisation of women and the sexualisation of children is exactly the kind of blurred line we need!” read the comment. If you want to appeal to women, maybe don’t try to tell them they should look a certain way. Not cool.

Next, the whole “act like a lady” thing. Because you know, there’s only one way women should act, and that’s totally like a lady. Uh-huh. Okay. Police our behavior because that’s exactly what we need. Thanks.

Then we come to the heart of this poorly thought-out hydra: think like a man. Yo. Okay. What. First of all… what. Second: is there something wrong with the way I think right now? Is thinking “like a man” (whatever that might mean) somehow inherently better than the way I may be thinking right now? Is that something I should aspire to?

Oh gosh, forgive me, I must be irrational (hysterical?). I should stop ranting and act more like a polite lady. Thanks for your advice, Bic. I don’t know where I’d be without you!

Joking (/ranting) aside, there’s plenty wrong with this ad. To Bic’s credit, they took it down and have apologized for the ad on the Bic South Africa Facebook page, saying:

Let’s start out by saying we’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody – that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong. This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help us ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that.

You’ll forgive us for not exactly believing that. After all, the For Her line of pens is actually still for sale. Really?

(via The Guardian)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.