Pantene uses airwaves to fight gender stereotypes

December 5, 2013


Pantene’s new commercial dares to challenge stereotypes

There is a lovely sentiment that floats around the web from time to time, an image of Audrey Hepburn or some elegant woman, and script font saying “think like a lady, act like a boss.” And women share it and both genders “like” it on Facebook and share it on Twitter, but that’s a problem.

There remains an undercurrent in the professional world that holds the idea that characteristics of feminine women conflict with characteristics of a leader, therefore, “think like a lady, act like a boss,” which subtly implies that no woman is simultaneously both.

Enter the #WhipIt campaign

Like Dove in recent years, Pantene has launched a campaign seeking to dispel negative gender labels in the workplace. The campaign is running in the Philippines, encouraging people to respond using the hashtag #WhipIt. The video campaign is accompanied by a series of posters to be shared online.

The double standards addressed in the campaign have been addressed here by AGBeat over the years, especially the idea that when a male leader speaks his mind, he is “persuasive,” while a woman doing the same thing is called “pushy.”

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The campaign doesn’t go as far as we have in saying that strong women are often called bitches at work for the exact same behavior their male counterparts are often praised for. But, they do go further by launching a forum to dive deeper into womens’ issues in the workplace.

Times have changed, and even in the last ten years, major advances have been made in changing corporate culture, and the Pantene campaign urges women not only to be strong, but to empower themselves by ignoring the negativity and striving to lead in the face of adversity.

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