That Sophie Monk Ad: Am I Insane?

Around the water cooler this week there is a lot of talk about that Sophie Monk / Lynx advert. If you have 3 minutes of your life that you don’t particularly care about you can see the ad hereMama Mia questioned whether it was clever or crass. SMH shrewdly analysed the hypocrisy of Unilever: a corporation that feeds highly sexualised young women to hungry males with one hand (Lynx) and then claim to empower the women that they have just served up with the other (Dove ‘love your body’). Anti-sexploitation campaigners (such as Collective Shout) are calling for consumers to boycott any products that fall under the Unilever umbrella.  And now this lowly blogger poses a question to you;

Am I insane or is everyone mad about the wrong thing?!

Yes, the ad is sexist, ageist and racist but giving the Wash Your Balls campaign the attention it is so desperately craving does nothing but encourage those crafty advertising creatives to go one step further next time (please refer United Colours of Benetton circa 1980’s).  Stop talking about it and it will go away. What cannot be disregarded is the key to this companies undoing – the type of controversy that cannot be manipulated to garner free publicity (the good kind, anyway). Yet this is the information that is being ignored the loudest!

Unilever Supports Animal Testing

Unilever test their products on animals such as dogs, cats, pigs, monkeys, rabbits and rats. These animals are locked in small cages for their entire lives where their only respites are the times that they are tested upon. Ingredients and finished products are tested on animals using a variety of methods which include;

The Draize Eye Test

The toxic substance is dripped under the lower eyelids of rabbits who are then monitored for their reactions.

The Draize Skin Irritancy Test

Animals are put into full body restraints where their fur is shaved and their skin is applied with the ‘irritant’ for a period of 4 hours to verify whether the product is corrosive – displayed through redness, burns or blistering.

The Lethal Dose Test

The lethal dose test measures the amount of a toxic substance that will, in a single dose, kill a certain percentage of animals in a test group. “To avoid interference with results,” no painkillers are administered. During a lethal dose test, the experimental substance is forced into the animals’ throats or is pumped into their stomachs by a tube, sometimes causing death by stomach rupture or from the sheer bulk of the chemical dosage. Substances also are injected under the skin, into a vein, or into the peritoneal lining of the abdomen; they are also often applied to the eyes, rectum, or vagina, or forcibly inhaled through a gas mask.

Please keep in mind that several hundred animals may be used for every substance that is tested. Unilever also chooses to test products that are not legally required to undergo any form of testing.

I am not into shock tactics BUT I do think that everyone needs to see the reality of animal testing. Below is a PETA video called ‘Testing 1, 2, 3…”. If you have not made the link between animal cruelty and the products that you buy please be brave and take the time to watch it;

What Can You Do?

There are two very simple steps that every one can take to end this cruelty.

  1. Boycott any companies that test on animals. If you are not sure PETA has this handy online sources where you can type in the brand/company and see for yourself. Click here to use it.
  2. Tell them about it!!! Write to the company and tell them exactly why you are taking your hard-earned cash elsewhere. Get your friends and family to. Forward details to everyone you know. The more they hear the more likely it is they will change. Corporations listen when something affects their bottom line.

In the end it all comes down to Consumer Power – vote with your dollar and all of a sudden people start listening.

Brands To Avoid… (some will shock you)

It can be hard to discern which brands fall under which companies. Here is the Unilever ‘brand wagon’ that you should avoid if you do not want to support animal cruelty;

Backwards

This is happening day-in and day-out yet the only reason Unilever are in the news today is because they scripted a tacky advert with a whole lot of juvenile double entendres. Yes, it pushes some fairly lack-lustre ideals on an impressionable youth but surely disregarding the barbaric torture of defenseless animals is the more deplorable of the two? I am in no way trying to trivialize the massive and scary issue that is sexism. Then again, I do sometimes feel that we need to apply some Never Ending Story logic to it and let The Nothing swallow it up; ignore the non-consequential assaults like this ridiculous advert and focus our energy onto real injustices. We can all turn off the TV and this ad goes away. It is a very different story for the millions of animals that are tortured and killed each year in the name of cosmetics.

Take a stand for something important today-  Boycott any companies that animal test!