DirecTV’s recent commercials have featured Rob Lowe and some of his imaginary alter-egos. The suave and smart Rob Lowe has DirecTV. His life is portrayed as perfect and easy. But creepy, hairy, meathead, overly paranoid, painfully awkward and scrawny arms Rob Lowe all have cable. They are portrayed as unclean, poor and miserable men. Some groups and people found these commercials very offensive.
The company’s most recent commercial is a spin-off of the Rob Lowe story line. The commercial features sports illustrated models Hannah Davis, Chrissy Teigan and Nina Agdal in their natural (half-naked and on the beach) habitat versus their ugly, boring and gross alter-egos. Teigan’s alter-ego is “mom jeans” Chrissy Teigan, Davis’ is “cat lady” Hannah Davis and Agdal’s is “lunch lady” Nina Agdal. Can you guess which group has DirecTV and which has cable?
The company probably assumed that the ad would come across as hilarious. Unfortunately, this ad only adds to the notion that women must look perfect (skinny, tanned, large bust, perfect butt and a pretty face) to be acceptable in our society and anything less is not considered beautiful, no matter how intelligent or creative a woman is. By poking fun at the mom jeans, cat lady and lunch lady women, DirecTV is teaching us that we (as women) would never want to be like them because they’re unattractive and undesirable. What about the women who are moms, have cats and work in school lunch rooms? Taylor Swift loves cats. Does that make her ugly and unwanted? I don’t think so.
The worst part of the commercial is that the models are on a beach, by the water and nowhere near a TV. So DirecTV, are you telling us that if we subscribe to your service we will look like this or this? Wow. What a revelation.
It is wrong to use negative stereotypes to define men or women. All people look different and live different lifestyles. It is unacceptable for the small percentage of people considered perfect by Hollywood standards, like many models and actors, to communicate this type of message.