Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Last night I saw one of the most startling Valentine’s Day commercials I can remember. We have grown used to the television being overrun by Kay, Jared, Zales, you name it this time of year. But this one really takes the cake. It should have come with a trigger warning
The man is talking to young girl on swing set. Don’t yet know context – is it a park? Back yard? Is this his daughter?
The man tells the little girl – you know how happy I am to be marrying your mom right? And I know this hasn’t always been easy for you – but I want you to know how special you are to me too…
The little girl nods a bit sheepishly
The man produces a jewelry box and presents it to the little girl with mom looking on from her post flipping hamburgers on a grill in the background
The Little girl opens the Kay box and there is one of Jane Seymour’s decidedly tacky (beside the point but true) “Open Hearts” necklace. The little girl is elated. She looks at this magical treasure this man has given her and yells to her mother – look mom it’s just like yours!
The man successfully bribed the little girl with jewelry – setting up what could be a lifetime of associating love with shiny things from men. The man successfully proves his worth to the mother – his bride to be. She too received a glorious piece of jewelry from this man (seen in screen capture above).
The little girl hugs him – what a wonderful man! -the mother comes to join them at the swing set – she is glassy-eyed with gratitude – what a wonderful man!
Beside the obvious problems with ads where a woman’s worth measured in crappy jewelry given to them by men – the commercial goes beyond the pale.
A grown man sitting on a swing set gives a very young girl who is not his daughter jewelry?
Why not just invite the young girl to come see my puppy! or, want some candy little girl? or, your parents have been in a car accident and I have come to pick you up and take you to the hospital to see them!
The number of things seriously wrong with this commercial are staggering. How long before there is enough of a justified outcry to get the thing pulled and Kay to issue an apology?