Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes CLA…In Slow Motion

The Super Bowl seems to provide for a plethora of sexist and degrading commercials. This Mercedes-Benz commercial, which was shown during the 2013 Super Bowl, features supermodel Kate Upton “washing” the new Mercedes CLA in slow motion. The video features two of the modern male’s favorite objects: supermodels and cars.

The commercial clearly objectifies Upton as she struts around in slow motion, distracting the football players who are actually washing the car. The moral of this commercial seems to be that attractive women should use their looks and sex appeal to get men to do the work for them. The advertisement exemplifies one of Simone de Beauvoir’s definitions of women. Beauvoir writes, “And she is simply what man decrees; thus she is called ‘the sex,’ by which is meant that she appears essentially to the male as a sexual being. For him she is sex—absolute sex, no less.” (de Beauvoir, 33). In this case, Upton is portrayed as the “sexual being” to the target audience, which is young and presumably wealthy heterosexual men. By objectifying Upton, she essentially becomes the sub-human product that is being sold.

de Beauvoir, Simone. “2. The Second Sex: Introduction.” Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives. Ed. McCann and Kim. New York: Routledge, 2003. 33. Print.

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