>Every feminist at one point or another in her life has probably been told that she needs to get a sense of humor, relax, or get laid when she complains about some vile sexist thing that she is confronted with. Axe body products for men take this maxim to a new extreme. Their ads on the New York City subway often made me roll my eyes in disgust (and I didn’t even get the point of a few of them, like an ad showing a nightstand stacked with cups of water) and the new commercial with Nick Lachey is hilariously bad, so I didn’t think anything of them until some women in my book club mentioned Axe last night.
Axe’s ads initially brought back memories of my own junior high experience, when Marty Keane, Marc Rubinstein, and Jordan Levi (three of the most popular boys in our class of 65 tweens) emerged from the locker room after gym class and Drakkar Noir fumes trailed behind them like dust on Pigpen in a Peanuts cartoon. Worse, when any of the handsome triumvirate (OK, I only two of the three were cute in my mind; I never cared for Jordan) would pass by you, your head would be enveloped in a cloud of Drakkar, causing mortifying fits of spasmodic coughing, seriously cramping a tween girl’s style. How cool can one look as she tries to swat the noxious vapors away from her head while gasping for fresh air? (I like to think that was the reason I was a dork, although I know better.)
I forgot, however, that we live in ever more sexually exploitative times. While Drakkar Noir may have been a bar mitzvah boy’s ticket to hot women back in 1988, today’s Axe ads, also built with the developing male’s insecurities and desires in mind, continue to sell the idea that a cologne bath will draw sexy women to them like bees to honey. Literally. I wrote about this over at BlogHer today, and one of the other contributing editors showed me something even scarier that Axe is up to: the new Axe Lab, which supposedly shows the effects of Axe on a "willing female body." To enter the site, one clicks on a button that reads "Begin Experiementation."
I decided to experiement on myself, this making me a "willing female body" in this circumstance. I clicked on "Dirty Mind Control." Hey, I have a dirty mind and usually I control it, so this should work, right? Actually, it didn't do anything I wanted it to. Then it caused a mini meltdown on my laptop.
Bring back the Drakkar, please.