1. This ad is DEFINITELY more about body image than body color, and its humor stands solely on the fact that men are, in general, far less body-conscious than women. Can you imagine the (well justified) fervor that would be created if the genders in this ad were reversed, given concern over feminine body image? The humor would be in bad taste, and the message would be (once again) that how our women are shaped now just isn’t good enough compared to those women on TV.

    That the actor is of-color probably only serves to make him seem more athletic to male and female viewers alike. (All body builders know well that the darker the skin, the better your muscles look. That’s why all white bodybuilders tan. It has everything to do with contrast and nothing to do with race.)

    Now back to the message. As much as I like myself just the way I am (body color, musculature, etc), if I thought that just by changing my body wash I’d be able to please a woman as much as:
    – the actor’s build/looks,
    – access to a yacht,
    – two tickets to (that thing she loves),
    – handfuls of diamonds, and
    – riding a horse,
    I’d definitely think twice before refusing. Okay, three times.

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