Archive for April, 2008

Buy Pampers, Assuage Your Middle-Class Guilt

April 29, 2008 1 comment

I caught this ad on TV last night. An average-looking woman buys one pack of diapers, and suddenly she is thanked by moms and babies from all over the world, complete with traditional dress. They appear like ghosts in a suburban landscape and the babies proceed to smile and laugh and blow kisses to the woman, who appears humble and gracious and slightly beatific.

As the made-for-Lifetime-Television music swells, Salma Hayek’s voice comes on and explains the concept: each pack of Pampers you buy could help save a poor child in a developing country.

I can’t possibly be the only person slightly disturbed at this Missionary Syndrome commercial? It’s great to help save children, but why spend even more money and energy to cast the Standard Suburban White Woman, who already has enough of a sense of entitlement, as some kind of international Madonna? And why is it okay to equate diaper-buying, something you’d do anyway, something that clearly does nothing good for the planet, with selfless charity work? Couldn’t they have said this another way?

Categories: media, television Tags: , ,