An Open Letter to Advertisers

Dear Advertisers (and TV producers),

Please note the following:

An Open Letter to Advertisers 1I am NOT a weepy, emotional woman who is easily wooed by roses and fancy purses (In fact, one time I turned down a Coach purse for review on my blog). I do not spend money frivolously nor am I a compulsive shopper. I don't gossip. I don't diet. I definitely do not wear just my underwear around other women, nor do I wear heels at the park. Oh, and I'm not a size 2.

An Open Letter to Advertisers 2My husband is NOT a lazy oaf with a beer belly who sits in his lazy boy and watches sports every night. He cooks and cleans and enjoys spending time with his kids. He is not clumsy. He does not gawk at women. He does not wear pajamas to bed (or heart-shaped boxers...ever). Oh, and he definitely does not grunt.

An Open Letter to Advertisers 3When I gave birth to each of my girls, they did NOT come out after 10 minutes of labor (although that would have been nice...). I did not scream obscenities or act out of character when I was pushing. I was not instantly svelte again immediately after the birth. Now that they're a little older...they do NOT know about Team Jacob or Team Edward (Twilight Barbies...really?). They like to be outdoors. They like to swing and slide and color and sing. When they sing, they sing "If You're Happy and You Know It," not songs by Miley Cyrus.

I just thought you should know.

Who ARE you advertising to anyway?

Thank you.

- Stephanie

Do you feel that advertisers understand you and your family? What other media stereotypes drive you crazy?

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25 comments on “An Open Letter to Advertisers”

  1. I hate being portrayed as a Sex in the City/Desperate Housewives kind of wife/mom. And the one that tops it...Real Housewives of _______; that show makes me want to scream out loud. I just think these reality shows and silly scripted ones do a lot of damage to REAL women who really aren't self-centered, katty and materialistic. We're imperfect, usually kind, and intelligent women trying to love our families the best way we can. Great post!

  2. Spot On! This was so great! :) As a new mom I sometimes wonder: Are advertisers really trying to make me buy their product, or just trying to make me feel bad about myself! :)

  3. I wonder if any friends have ever pointed out your pride issues? You love to hold yourself up to culture with a humble facade, but you can tell you spend a lot of time thinking about how much better you are than the majority.

    I can say this because I recognize this in myself and I'm working on it, so when i see it in others I want to vomit. Wouldn't you rather use whatever platform you have to share Jesus with people, instead of your lifestyle? Morality is a dangerous thing to idolize...

  4. Love this post! And you earlier one re: the Coach purse.
    I know that there are people who enjoy all of the things in those commercials...sometimes because it reflects who they are, other times because it's a parody of their lives or someone close to them. But, none of it reflects me or my family. And I guess I'm OK with that. I hope that our life doesn't make it to the big screen. Somehow they'd find a way to warp it too. Warp and franchise, mass-market and sell it away.
    I do think our biggest struggle lately is that people keep giving our girls disney princess stuff, and every time they wear it, I feel like they are walking-commercials. Ugh. We don't have a TV for many reasons, one of which is that we don't want those ideas and things in our home. But alas, still working out how to cut that flow down to a trickle. Thanks for another wonderful, thought-provoking post.

  5. They definitely aren't gearing their ads towards me for sure. Ads are strange, and often I think they border on immoral...no wait they often fall right over the edge. I think advertisers need to rethink a few things.

  6. LOVE this post, Stephanie! You said it perfectly and I so agree. I hate being lumped into these categories of targeted women.

  7. Completely agree. Although we don't have cable-therefore no reception/tv at our house, I can avoid most of the media advertisements at least on tv. I will do my best not to subject my children to what the media says they should like, what they should look like, etc.

  8. Oh, Stephanie! We must be one in the same! :) Much of what you said would describe our family as well. Hearing my daughter sing "Jesus Loves Me" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" brings more happiness than hearing any other mainstream song.

    I totally feel that advertisers are missing the mark. They are attempting to make our little ones into teens at earlier and earlier ages. And who in the world are they marketing clothing to?! My husband would drop dead before allowing our 4 year old in an itty bitty bikini.

    Thanks for your letter...and I'll get off my soapbox now, too. :o)

  9. Amen! But I realize my family is outside the norm. We don't do cable - I only see commercials during the rare baseball game (on what used to be called "rabbit ears" - omg I am old) or if I watch a show online. We don't plop our kid in front of the TV. He often watches one 30 min. episode of Signing Time (from the library) per day. He has no idea who Dora or (insert currently popular kids' character) are.
    Thanks for stopping by my site - in answer to your question, we just bought a cheapie mailbox from our local hardware store.

  10. GREAT letter! Totally agree with you. The clothing that's advertised for little girls (and big girls) bothers me and has made me want to take up sewing.

  11. So true! I have tried my hardest to keep my little girls children for as long as I can. We were still doing Winnie the Pooh and baby dolls while most of the girls in my daughter's preschool class were already onto Barbies. They can't even dress the things themselves! Unfortunately, it's hard once they are exposed to it all, but my hubby and I have already decided we won't be the "cool" parents.

    As far as the clothing for little girls?!? Don't get me started!

  12. @Emerging Mummy: That video is absolutely terrifying. And the Twilight Barbies? Oh my good heavens. Sometimes I'm glad I only have boys. Except those beer commercials are terrible, too.

    Our TV isn't hooked up to any TV broadcasting anymore. It's incredible! I handle commercials much better in Hulu-sized doses.

  13. So, so good and well said and creatively put, Stephanie! I really just ignore commercials and those over-portrayed stereotypes all over the media. And sometimes I just have to laugh over the ridiculousness of it all. I think one of my favorites was an actress for a makeup commercial saying something like, "You know what I really want? I want my lipliner to match my lipstick." Yes, that's exactly what I'm looking for out of life too! Hilarious.

  14. Totally agree! Add to that I do not buy clothes or purses that are walking advertisements. If you want me to advertise then pay me, don't expect me to pay $15 for a cheap T-Shirt, let alone hundreds for a Gucci purse.
    Do I occasionally wear shirts that advertise? Yes ma'am, but those were given to me by my employer, or at a concert, or store opening, etc.

  15. Right on. Right on. I RTd this one. We are pretty horrified by most of the stuff that is portrayed about men and women and their relationships (My husband is not a bumbling idiot and I am not a nagging shrew that is "always right" and superior) but the ones that bother me the most are about children or parenting. My kids aren't brats and I don't view them as a burden. Good look finding a commercial that doesn't portray one or both of those ideas.

    Also, as kris (#7) above said, the clothing for my daughter in particular is bothersome. I've stopped buying clothes at most mainstream stores. Part of that is because of the hootchie thing but it's also because I don't like character-wear (like Tinkerbell shirts or Dora shoes) which is almost all children's wear these days. So we try to buy handmade from Etsy or from places that don't do that (I've found the Canadian Superstore brand, Joe, to be pretty good for kids - cheap and cute). Anyway, I struggle with the message from the media about who we are and what's important.

    Did you see this about the images for girls?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei6JvK0W60I

    Good stuff, as always, Stephanie. I hope it gets picked up and noticed by a few more people.

  16. Last night I was watching the finale of Celebrity Apprentice and was shocked a the type of commercials I saw. I normally do not pay attention but this time I did. In a set of three the first one was anti-aging, the second for stretch marks and of course you cannot have a set of commercials with one for a depression med. They were just awful.

  17. I agree.

    I also find it annoying that its so hard to find DECENT clothing for my 6 year old. She's 6, I don't want her looking like a hoochie mama for pete's sake.

    Oh the drama with finding her decent shorts for this summer.

  18. Love, love, love your post! You are right on! Our kiddos are ages 9 years-9 months and I could not have said this better! Hugs!

  19. Totally agree with this! I keep thinking, are they trying to appeal to how I am, or are they trying to make me want to be that way? When I was in school and took an advertising class we talked about manipulating your audience to want what you are selling- making them believe that they want it, and it's what everyone else wants too. That's why you have people walking around doing the things you described- not because they actually want to- but the media made them think it was what they wanted.

  20. I think the stereotypes are more offensive to my husband than to me - especially beer commercials. My husband kicks back with a beer occasionally, but he doesn't need to go to a "man cave" to do that!

    Honestly, I don't even watch TV commercials and while I do read magazines, I just page right through the ads. Life's a lot easier that way, and less expensive!

  21. LOL....I am not American, at least not by birth. Hence, I do not fancy some of the items pushed by the media. I still don't understand the Twilight series, I don't even know there is a Team Jacob (lol).

    My husband does not drink beer, but we sip wine here and there on few occasions. He is huge though, but that's because he plays football in college (for fun).

    I have not been able to introduce some things to my daughter because of a few concerns. I loathe Disney Channel because even the kids on there are as obscene as the adults in romance movies.

    There are definitely a lot of things out there, I pick out information and items I love and feel represents me as a person. No matter how much your ad comes up on TV or how beautiful it looks in the magazine (especially those fragrances, that every actress/singer seem to love to make), I ignore it and look the other way. My life stays trouble-free that way.

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