“OneTouch” Ad Commits Two “Isms” in Two Lines March 23, 2009Posted by Onely in As If!, Everyday Happenings, Heteronormativity, Just Saying..
Tags: brad and angelina, diabetes, lesbian marriage, lifescan, marriage mythology, Onetouch, onetouch chris, sexist wedding traditions, single people, singlism in advertising
Usually doctors’ waiting room magazines are where I look for my Brad and Angelina updates, but the other day I happened upon something else: an ad for OneTouch Diabetes Monitor that double-dips into singlism and sexism. Yay!
In the print ad, the headline across the man’s face reads, “Chris. Newly diagonosed. Motivated. Father.” Then in smaller text, Chris himself says,
I’m only three weeks into being a guy with diabetes, so I’m learning to check my blood sugar. Why? Maya, my four and a half year old daughter. I will dance at her wedding.
Oh, Chris, Chris, Chris. What if Maya is a lesbian and can’t get married? Or what if–god forbid–she doesn’t want to get married? Well then, I guess you might as well just toss out that blood sugar monitor and kick it–metaphorically speaking. Bite the big one. Turn the final corner. Give up the ghost. Hand in your chips. Because why be motivated to live to see your daughter graduate from college, or learn to snowboard, join the Peace Corps, build a backyard shed, open her first bank account, or just plain be happy?
And what if instead of Maya, you’d had a son, whom we’ll call Mark. Would you say,
I’m only three weeks into being a guy with diabetes, so I’m learning to check my blood sugar. Why? Mark, my four and a half year old son. I will dance at his wedding.
You probably wouldn’t. Because even in this day and age, symbols of accomplishment/adulthood for little boys are different (and more varied) than those imagined for little girls, for whom marriage and kids still represent a strong metaphor for their successful transition to adulthood. (Not to mention the fact that father-daughter dances are more ensconced in the wedding rhetoric than are mother-son dances, possibly because of the entrenchment of the “father giving the bride away” tradition, which is a whole ‘nother holdout from the oldendays.)
So, Copious Readership, you can see that when Onely spots singlism and sexism, even sick people are not safe. I feel like kind of a jerk for picking on Chris, but heck, he was given a venue where he could have given any number of progressive, insightful reasons for taking care of himself, and instead he just hurt my feelings.
Wait a minute! Let’s stop picking on Chris. Some last-minute pre-posting research tells me that Chris’ quote was condensed from a short video interview (click his photo on the web page “for more about Chris”, described in small type on the print ad). In his video, Chris actually says,
My daughter Maya is four and a half years old. Here’s the goal: I’m going to dance at her wedding, and I’m going to go to her 40th birthday party.
So apparently the PR folks at either OneTouch or their parent company LifeScan, Inc. decided that Chris’ goal of surviving until Maya’s wedding was more ad-worthy than his goal of surviving until her 40th birthday. Their edits made his quote seem more singlist and sexist than it actually was (sorry Chris!).
Their choice of the wedding goal over the 40th birthday goal just points to society’s tired old fixation with marriage as a marker of life progression, as a social stabilizer, and now, it seems, as a cure for diabetes.