Salma’s Not Just Sexy

For my ad critique, I began by thinking of problematic ads and looking for them on YouTube when this ad popped up in the sidebar. I remembered seeing it on TV and being a fan. I believe this is an empowering view of women.

Despite the fact that Salma Hayek is a recognized sex symbol in our society, the ad doesn’t pander to or exploit that fact. A store clerk is staring at her at one point in the ad, but she fixes him with a dirty look and continues on her way. She’s depicted as a frazzled mom in the ad (which is certainly relatable to most parents). While humorous in her failed attempts at finding milk throughout the night, Hayek’s character in this ad has a lot of agency. She is driven and assertive in her quest for milk: travelling, disparaging the ogling of a store clerk, inventing alternative ways of getting milk, and flagging down the milkman. She’s not a weak damsel-in-distress or any other sexist stereotype. She attacks her problem head on, and she succeeds (only, of course, to find another thing she has to do–a parent’s work is never over).

I find this ad to be a positive message. It manages to incorporate humor without falling back on sexist stereotypes of women, and shows a strong female in the main role. Do you agree?

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