“The world is facing one of the biggest crises in the history of history,” says an older man in a setting that resembles a TED Talk, “Girls are getting hotter and hotter.” Well, so much for educational.
This recent Axe commercial goes on to say that the increasing “hotness” of women has become a danger to men. By describing women as “hot,” an adjective that refers solely to physical characteristics, Axe is not only objectifying women to sell its product but also enforcing socially determined standards of beauty and femininity.
The commercial continues to show men in “danger,” getting hit by cars or falling over as an attractive woman walks by, implying that a woman’s appearance can cause a man to lose control of his actions. The acting here may be slapstick, but the message borders on victim blaming, a truly dangerous concept. What is most concerning about the commercial, however, is that it is telling the target audience, teenage boys, that the attitudes expressed here are acceptable and even expected.
While Axe clearly meant for this commercial to be funny, I can only describe it in the same way I describe the scent of their products: gross.