In a new advertisement, Wrangler, the jeans brand beloved by cowboys and your dad, wants to tell you that you are "more than a bum."
Oh, wait. Actually, they only want to tell you that if you're a woman... as if we didn't know that already.
Maybe their intentions were good, as the description for the video reads that Wrangler wanted to "create this rallying cry against female stereotyping." The ad clearly had potential, with a cast of women of various shades and shapes, including a woman in a hijab.
But unfortunately, this ad trying to tell women that they are "more than a bum" does so while focusing... almost entirely on the bum.
The ad opens with musical artist Kimbra standing at a DJ table, then follows her around a forest (because reasons) before she goes to meet the lovely cast of women Wrangler has gathered — activists, athletes, choreographers and so on. But then, things take a turn. These women start to tell us things we already know and, frankly, don't need to hear.
"You should be judged on your talent, your skills and what you're bringing to the table," one woman says (as if we don't already know that), before the camera pans to Kimbra's bum.
Though that's a lovely and certainly true sentiment, why are we getting told this? Chances are, women who have existed in the world for more than six seconds understand it.
Other bits of wisdom spewed out in this ad include, "One piece of you doesn't define you," (as if we didn't know), with the the camera holding steady on this journalist's bum.
"You can't control how you look. You can control how you feel," Paris Lees, an activist, notes. Actually, newsflash, you can control how you look.
Then there's this: "We will present something beyond just wearing clothes," the journalist says. (Obviously, yes. And, we know.)
And then: "You're enough as you are."
All of these statements, by the way, are mused over a song sung by Kimbra, which includes a chorus of women saying the word "bum" and then the line, "Ain't about what's behind me."
The end result is patronizing, like when Dove told women, "You're more beautiful than you think," as if that actually matters and as if women asked Dove at all.
At the end of the day, women don't need to hear these sort of faux empowering statements nearly as much as, say, companies that regularly sexualize and objectify women do. They're the ones that are telling us that we're not good enough, after all. So why can't these ads be directed toward them? Why can't someone send Sprite or Snickers a commercial that tells them, "Women don't like to be overtly sexualized and/or objectified"?
Why do women always have to be on the receiving end of uncalled for "compliments"?
Oh, but wait. There's even more to this campaign. At the end of the commercial, the hashtag #MoreThanABum pops up on the screen, encouraging women to explain why, exactly, they are more than a bum, as if we had any doubt about that at all.
As expected, Twitter is not having it.
Do better, Wrangler.
If you love to suffer, watch the entire advertisement below.