Blogroll #3: About-Face

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, and I’m kind of glad.  I just read through the real-time impressions of the Super Bowl ads by About-face (don’t worry: they embed the videos so I can decide for myself instead of just reading someone else’s commentary!) and was once again majorly disappointed

You could argue that I’m not their target audience (since I didn’t re-arrange my schedule to watch the game), but I think that misses the point.  The commercials themselves both reflect & contribute to a culture that devalues women and promotes an unattainable (& perhaps just as degrading) masculinity based on fear/domination of the Other. 

About-FaceFor more commentary about body image, the media, and feminism, please see:


It’s loaded with resources for women & girls and all the people who love them.  I used their book list and their resources on challenging media messages for a sleepover about body image with my youth last summer.  And although I didn’t share this with my youth, the About-Face Gallery of Offenders features titillating advertisements and insightful commentary about WHY they’re unhealthy for men and women. 

What are your favorite blogs about body image or the media?

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4 Responses to Blogroll #3: About-Face

  1. Darrell says:

    I noticed that masculinity was a much bigger theme among Super Bowl commercials than what I remembered in the past. I remember commercials being targeted towards men, but they rarely so overtly said, “this product will make you more masculine”, or on a similar note, so overtly ignored potential female customers (and I’m sure a lot more women watch the Super Bowl than any other sporting event, so it would seem like the perfect time to get them). I can’t think of any memorable Super Bowl ads from the past that were so male-centric. The Budweiser Frogs, Cat Herding, The Etrade Monkey, etc. It might just be they’ve always been around, they’re just not as memorable as they’re not as funny or creative.

  2. Pete B says:

    Watch the Superbowl in the UK on the BBC and there are no ads at all! Even on Sky, they only show the usual UK adverts. The only downside is that it means a night without sleep. At least this year it was on the East Coast…
    The general point about adverts is absolutely right though. I’m sure US adverts are as depressing as UK ones when it comes to the message that they give about what you need to make you happy.
    There’s even one which talks about the fundamental rights of skin (which just happen to be catered for by a very expensive cream)!
    You do occasionally get a very creative or funny advert which partially restores my faith in copywriters…

    • La Peregrina says:

      So good to hear from you! It’s a shame that the UK doesn’t get the same ad(vert)s as we do in the US. The Super Bowl advertisements are one of the reasons to watch the Super Bowl — companies spend ridiculous amounts of money producing and placing the ads. Depending on which Super Bowl party you go to (here in the States, watching the game is definitely a social event & people who don’t watch any other football get together for it), you might find that people who talk & eat all the way through the game will make sure that everyone shuts up to watch the commercials.

      If we judge ads as telling us “what we need,” then Americans need lots of beer, cars, and masculinity 😉

  3. WtW says:

    I love football and I am a guy. And I totally appreciate your treatment of this: the whole first half of the game I was being hammered with those commercials about my manhood, and it was just annoying. Apparently, I should own a Dodge Charger because owning it is the only decision I get to make for me because my fictional wife and children make demand after demand on me and just nag all day. Come on…that goes beyond caricature to mere bad taste.

    I fast-forwarded through every commercial break of the second half because they were just bad.

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