Tasteful – it’s in the dictionary
It will seem strange to people younger than, say, 50, to learn that at one time a visual ad for a bra would show the product worn by a torso mannequin. The same was true for men’s and women’s underwear. Ads were tasteful (it’s in the dictionary). You see, people once had a sense of modesty (it’s in the dictionary) and Madison Avenue observed rules and regulations about such things. From hereon, reader discretion is advised.
For dinosaurs such as I, many commercials today are indecent, bordering on pornography, and show no respect for women, in particular. There’s the ad for smooth-shaven legs with women sitting around in lingerie, provocatively posed like hookers in the parlor of a brothel, waiting for johns. Then there’s the girl trying to find something to wear, leaving with only her derriere scantily covered, advertising a diet pill.
I thought women’s lib touted equality and abhorred using women’s bodies as sex objects. The major outcry from the fems these days is when one of those bodies holds a small living person inside who is perceived as an unwanted intrusion to be eliminated.
The cute ad with a little red dot bounding around feminine necessities are without any sense of privacy or decorum (it’s in the dictionary). And now we have Ditties. But, I guess that’s all right today. Young people seem unaware of anything discreet, modest or private. They see nothing to be embarrassed about. No wonder there is such a casual approach to sex.
Swim wear for both sexes leaves nothing to the imagination, and some female underwear might as well be a G-string. Gypsy Rose Lee didn’t show so much. Public decency no longer is protected by law. Now it is seen as restricting free speech.
Has anyone noticed the poses in fashion magazines and some department store catalogs? Some models stand like the Colossus straddling the harbor at Rhodes. What a wonder! Even sitting, they can’t seem to keep their knees together. Dare I mention Abercrombie and Fitch or Victoria’s Secret?
TV ads for intestinal relief products are sometimes vulgar in the extreme. Some for fast foods are aimed at slobs who obviously were raised by wolves. May their tribe decrease! Tastelessness is not humor.
Oh, I almost forgot ads like the one featuring the newlywed husband letting his bride think their honeymoon suite is expensive when he really got a deal. Why is dishonesty used to sell anything? Clueless should tell her. She’ll think he’s smart, at least until the honeymoon is over. The ad with Sonny leaving evidence that the dog did it, ought to show Mom catching him.
I also wonder why there is such a problem with ordinary sexual function in an extraordinary number of people. Healthy (some a little overweight, maybe) men can’t function without an enhancer. Just see them leaping around like crazed baboons thanks to a pill.
It seems that women also must have help to feel intimate and to have passion. Good grief! A loving relationship with one’s spouse (it’s in the dictionary), diligent care of children and home and a busy, fruitful life should not preclude intimacy and passion. Maybe intimacy is less frequent than in the early days of marriage, but if that is all men and women join hands for, then they don’t have a clue.
Having a comfortable, mutually supportive, truly adult relationship eventually supplants the first throes of physical love. Intimate moments are cherished, but parents should grow up before their children. Being tired is a part of life. First, I propose tuning out offensive, degrading, downright stupid appeals. Second, we should tell advertisers that they insult their target audiences.
I fear, though, that we have become hedonists. (Dictionary?) All fulfillment, which the ads want us to believe we need right now, right here and all the time, depends on everything physical. We must always look great, feel fantastic, be highly sexed and never have a bad day. What a sad commentary on the kind of people that we are led to believe we are.
What is missing is a sense of dignity, self-respect and respect for the dignity and privacy of others. We are intelligent beings with powers of discrimination, wit and good taste. If we continue to surrender to feelings and supposed inadequacies, our thoughts and desires won’t climb above our navels. We will surely regress at an alarming rate on the evolutionary chart. I, for one, refuse to go ape.
Gloria Thiele is a resident of Grass Valley.
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