Monday, April 16

Yet Another Reason to Worry for my Daughter

A few weeks ago, my mother, sister, and I made an emergency run to the mall because we were suddenly overwhelmed with the need for Cinnabon. While there, we witnessed this atrocity:

This poster was huge--about 48" tall--and pasted right in the middle of the mall on one of those ad islands. Initially I thought, "What? An ad for hookers right here in the mall?!" But no, after reading it over a few times and translating the hip hop slang into English, I realized that this was an anti-smoking ad. As best as I can piece together, the message is: Guys--if you want slutty, mostly naked women to like you, then you better not smoke because slutty women only like smokefree men. Slutty, mostly-naked women--it does not matter whether you smoke or not, as long as you remain slutty-looking and convince boys that they shouldn't smoke.

What the hell?!

This is wrong on so, so many levels. I imagine M., 13 years old, prowling the mall with some of her other teenage friends and seeing this ad. What is the message that they are really getting? That it is not cool to smoke? Or that in order to be cool they need to look like hookers? The group that put out this ad claims that their goal is to overcome the tobacco industry's manipulation of the hip hop community. While an admirable goal, it seems to me that they are advancing it by sacrificing the dignity of young women, and young black women in particular. If the tobacco industry is undermining young urban youth, is not this organization undermining the self respect of young women?

I really had to choke down my scream of indignation while standing there in the mall with my baby. Instead, I just looked at her and explained, "This is never okay."

What do you think? Has giving birth made me into a prude? Am I the only one who finds this more than a little disturbing?


ErinBW said...

Word sista!

Doug said...

Don't be hatin'.

Doug said...

Until there's a link between cancer and sexism, there'll be no ads in the mall decrying it in the parlance of the youth.

Step 1: Find your scientists...

Dinah said...

Once you're a parent, you get glasses that see this stuff. People laughed at Tipper Gore (maybe it was her name) but she wasn't especially wrong.