Kelly Rippa’s Faithful Fridge

Kelly Rippa is the celebrity advertiser for Electrolux kitchen supplies, the most recent ad being for their new refrigerator (seen through the link above).  She advertises its ability to regulate its storage temperature, a quality that is a perfect companion for someone who is serving as often as Kelly is in this commercial.  

This commercial could be seen as sexist in that Kelly is the only one in the house who is doing the serving, hosting, or entertaining.  There is only one shot with a man, and he is with a group of other females who are being served by Kelly. This ad insinuates an unequal division of labor, choosing the woman to be in charge of both the kitchen tasks and providing for her children and friends.  Although there are women who honestly enjoy these tasks, there are others who feel they must perform them in order to have a good social standing (Belkin, p.6)  It is hard to eject ourselves from these stereotypes, however we may try, because scenes like this are common, almost expected, in society (Belkin, p. 5).  

Would  Electrolux sell less appliances if they advertised the man as the primary user? Would they sell more? Although it is becoming more common to see men in the kitchen, the “make me a sandwitch” stereotype still lingers, so people may not respond as well to a man compared to a woman showing off this refrigerator.  

When Mom and Dad Share it All. Belkin, Lisa. NYTimes Magazine.  2008.  

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4 thoughts on “Kelly Rippa’s Faithful Fridge

  1. Pingback: The Five “S” Item In The Fridge | YoTrip-Words and Thoughts

  2. samiraa2013

    I like your post and the commercial used as an example because it depicts subtle sexist behavior that is usually unnoticed by audiences because these gender roles are engrained in our experiences. These behaviors are expected in our society, as the roles individuals must perform. Women are required to host, serve, and entertain in a kitchen setting that is catered to women and men.

    I am unsure if the company would sell fewer appliances if the man was a primary user but I think if a man were to play Kelly’s role, his job as a server would be masculinized in order to fit his gender. I think people would respond well to this add if it were a man instead of a women if his gendering aligned with societies expectations. For instance, the food he’d serve to the guest would be gendered more for a man rather than a woman. There would be more of an emphasis on masculine beverages and food such as beer, red meat, chicken and potatoes. These examples contrast the feminine light foods that Kelly is serving such as fruits, vegetable salads, seafood, desserts and the viewing of wine at the end of the commercial for the date at home.

    Not only would the food play a role in the symbol of masculinity but the guest would also alter from Kelly’s representation. Instead of children and women near the table, the host would probably serve other men to emphasize a masculine setting. A man would have to assume rigid definitions of masculinity in order to function as acceptable to viewers. Otherwise, a commercial focusing on a man acting as a server to guest near a refrigerator may seem unsuitable to the current gender constructions.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: A Rant on Rippa and Huffington Post | Cheri Speak

  4. Pingback: A Rant on Ripa and Huffington Post | Cheri Speak

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