Bite Me Electrolux and Shame on You Kelly Ripa

Have you seen any of the Electrolux commercials with Kelly Ripa? You know, the ones where she manages her high pressure job(s), makes cupcakes, has a dinner party, washes, folds and puts away clothes, makes chocolate strawberries, hosts a sleepover and a birthday party for a dog... all set to the Bewitched theme.

The commercials that command you to "be more amazing!"

Am I the only one who sees these as a giant feminist backlash?

One of the biggest wrong turns women ever took was making the work we do appear effortless. I say appear because any woman or man who has done the work that is traditionally seen as female, knows it is anything but effortless. I have also read several studies that show the mechanization of housework with the inventions and technological improvements of appliances increased, not decreased the amount of housework that women do in part because it raised expectations. For me, showing Kelly Ripa, a woman who probably works no fewer than 50 hours a week and has multileveled staff to help her manage her responsibilities, effortlessly managing her household is a crock of poo fondue. I would be very surprised if she didn't have a full-time housekeeper, maybe two. And seriously, I'm not saying she shouldn't, I'm guessing she juggles about twenty dozen more important things than I do. I am saying that when a high profile woman like this tells us that we need to "be more amazing" then we are doing it wrong. We are priming the pump of motherhood for depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, isolation, et. al..

So Kelly Ripa, keep making your chocolate strawberries and being "more amazing," I'll be over here yelling at my kids and looking at my pile of laundry. Oh and Electrolux? If you want my hard earned dollars spent on your over-priced hunks of steel and plastic, how about showing a man using them?

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Rassles said... April 20, 2010 at 9:03 AM  

I never listened to Kelly Ripa anyway. Women! You must smell good, wear heels, and keep your hair shiny and smooth at all times! You must have white teeth, soft feet, long eyelashes, perky breasts, hairless legs, trimmed pubes, manicured nails, no stretch marks, and clear skin. Here are all of the ways you must learn how to pleasure your man. Here are all of the clothes you must be wearing this season so people don't judge you, and by the way? I expect you to make sure that every season you resupply so you have the right color. Your shoes don't match your jacket. HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO FIND A JOB AND CLEAN YOUR HOUSE IF YOUR SHOES DON'T MATCH YOUR JACKET? Of course they can't completely match your jacket, they have to just be appropriately complimentary.

You don't want to be judged, do you? DO YOU?

Men! Shave. Sometimes. We are in the process of trying to convince women to settle. You'll be fine.

Fuck that. Fuck. That. I refuse. Seriously, I just flat out refuse. Being a woman is wonderful for so many reasons, and advertisers are ruining it for me.

Alexis Ahrens said... April 20, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

Just discovered your site and I love your sense of humor and great writing! Those commercials have always annoyed me, too.

The antidote?

We simply can't buy into the self-judging, mama-judging, man-judging, and other-judging. We nullify these messages for ourselves and our children by setting our thoughts on higher things, being compassionate, and loving ourselves exactly the way we are.

It's a huge work in progress for me, and most days I don't quite get there, but it's the goal, at least.

I look forward to reading more from you!


Heather said... April 20, 2010 at 10:57 AM  

here! here!

Bittersweet Confusion said... April 20, 2010 at 1:08 PM  


Rene said... April 20, 2010 at 6:40 PM  

I heartily agree! Very well said. And, Rassles you made me want to stand up and cheer while laughing my ass off!

Sandi said... April 21, 2010 at 6:49 AM  

Love this post!

Logical Libby said... April 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

Every time I see that commercial I remember that Kelly Ripa's real kids are home eating TV dinners with their nannies.

CATARINE said... April 21, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

thank you :)

Gwen said... April 22, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

Those commercials always disturb but I could never articulate why. That is probably because I am brainwashed into believing I am never thin enough and beautiful enough and my house is never clean enough. I hate ElectroSux (ElectroFux?) But I love you. I mean in a bloggy way not a weird way.

Gwen said... April 22, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

Also - what Rassles said? Perfect. Just perfect.

Fuck this crazy diet obsessed world for making me feel like I'm disgusting and lazy because I have stretch marks and a stretched out belly from a pregnancy.

Haley said... April 29, 2010 at 11:37 AM  

I'm giving both you AND Rassles a standing ovation at my desk at work right now.

Gappy said... April 30, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

I am making dinner in my kitchen (of all things) and simultaneously applauding vigorously and whooping loudly - now that's multi-tasking!

Am over from A Free Man. I like your style.

A Free Man said... April 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM  

Who's Kelly Ripa?

I think I've been away from the U.S. for so long now that I don't have the cultural connections. But I was thinking whist vacuuming today after I'd done the dishes, that we middle class white guys have gotten the shaft with all this feminism and equality stuff. I want to live inside Mad Men.

kev said... May 10, 2010 at 7:25 AM  

This is yet another reason why Kelly Ripa must be stopped. Immediately.

Anonymous said... May 15, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

I cannot stand the Kelly Ripa "Be More Amazing" commercials!!!!!

Her commercials are synonymous with the "Have a Happy Period" commercials. YEAH - get into the real world where you don't have millions of dollars and cramps SUCK.

Why do women have to "Be Amazing" ??? - because we love cleaning, cooking, and bleeding. Does that mean I suck as a human being because my house is a mess, I can't throw a party for 40 with 15 minutes notice and I have PMS? Guess I'm less of a person than Kelly.

Truly insulting in every way!

Meg at Demanding Joy said... June 4, 2010 at 12:37 AM  

You are absolutely right!!! Housework has not become easier. Before we had washing machines and vacuums, we had hired girls - I would happily go back. Plus, people (men?) believe that housework is easy because it's invisible and repetitive. Traditionally male work has an end - the building gets built, the contract gets signed, etc. But the beds always need making and the kids always need feeding. Since it never ends, there's no recognition of accomplishment. Perhaps Kelly Ripa could do her magic fairy dance through my house and make it effortlessly clean.

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