New Pantene Commercial Encourages Women To Shrug Off Sexist Labels


Have you ever cried tears of frustration over gender discrimination? Allow us to explain a little more. Why are women called crazy, psychotic, bitchy, bossy, slutty, and cold for the same reasons men are called powerful, intelligent, persuasive etc? There is something inherently wrong with society if we are taught to immediately put women in a box because of their attributes, yet praise men for the very same things.

Gender discrimination is still sadly alive and kicking in many areas of the world, but we shouldn’t let it hold us back. In fact the best way we can get “revenge” is to continue to shine, be amazing, intelligent, successful women who refuse to be labeled.

Pantene Philippines have started an important conversation on this topic in their new haircare campaign called ‘labels against women’. The commercial was released in November 2013 has has since gone viral (thanks in part to a post from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg) and has over 5 million view on Youtube!

In the video we see men and women acting out the same scenarios, but we also see superimposed labels on each gender showing the difference in the way they are viewed. A handsome man crossing the street is viewed as “smooth” while a pretty girl doing the same thing is labeled “show-off”. All of this is set to a version of Gary Jules (highly appropriate) track ‘Mad World’ showing the utter madness we can’t get over the fact that women are different, but not any worse.

While this video won’t be seen on TV in countries outside of Philippines and other Asian regions, it doesn’t really matter because we have the internet to spread timely goodness in a more impactful and faster way!

“This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen illustrating how when women and men do the same things, they are seen in completely different ways. Really worth watching,” Sheryl Sandberg wrote on Facebook about the video.

“70% of men think that women need to downplay their personality to be accepted. Pantene asks everyone to whip away the double standards that hold women back. Because when you stand strong, you shine,” says the popular hair-care company on their Youtube Channel.

Along with the video, Pantene have teamed up with a website called Rappler, which is a news hub dedicated to starting inspiring and engaging conversation through the news. They have allowed Pantene to continue this important conversation about gender discrimination by using their website as a platform to publish as series of essays using the same #WhitIt hashtag from the commercial.

Women can share their experiences, learn from others, and share practical tools to empower their lives despite the opposition they may face due to sexism. Check out the website and see what they are doing. This is a really hot topic that we need to change by our actions and approach. How are we empowering other women to be confident in themselves in their daily lives?

We at GTHQ believe promoting positive female role models, positive and inspiring messages through the media is a great start, and we also love that a huge world-renowned beauty brand like Pantene is willing to go above and beyond (just like Dove) to help women live empowered lives.


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