Femininity on Display

Beauvoir’s idea of the “eternal feminine” (Beauvoir 36) is applied to the main character in the ad through her simple dress, her proper way of speaking, the crossing of her legs, and the simple yet distinctly feminine pearl necklace around her neck. This ad extorts this state for the intent of humor by having a “lady” discuss the sordid task of defecation. That such a concept should be considered humorous seems absurd and, indeed, the creators even at time seem to touch on the ironic inanity of this ad pitch. The key assumption in interpreting this as humor is that it is actually inappropriate for women to discuss the things she is discussing, and this is what makes the ad so offensive. Also worthy of note is the fact that the women’s ability to conceal her bathroom smells is implied to directly correlate to pleasing her husband, marriage, and eventual fulfillment – a rather restrictive and archaic model to assume for all women.


1. Beauvoir, Simone De. “The Second Sex: Introduction.” Introduction. The Second Sex. New York: Knopf, 1953. 32-40. Print.


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