According to H&M’s new commercial for their autumn collection, being a lady just means being whatever the hell you want.
And while, as a woman, I appreciate the sentiment of not having to conform to one specific set of standards, I think there’s something to be said for femininity and being ladylike.
The commercial features several women going about their lives accompanied by the song “She’s A Lady.” Included in the group are a woman with hairy armpits, a very obvious trans person, and a woman sitting with her legs spread wide on the subway.
The obvious message is that a woman can do or be whatever she wants – no matter what, she’ll still be a lady. After all, femininity is just some social construct forced upon us by a misogynistic patriarchy, right?
But listen to what the lyrics, originally sung by Tom Jones, say:
Well she’s all you’d ever want,
She’s the kind they’d like to flaunt and take to dinner.
Well she always knows her place.
She’s got style, she’s got grace, She’s a winner.
Do those words describe most of the women in this video? I don’t think so.
I have a hard time looking at a woman sitting spread eagle or flashing her hairy armpits or at someone who’s, you know, a man and agreeing they’re a lady. They may be women (some of them, at least), but definitely not ladies in my book.
The kicker for me occurs early on in the commercial where a group of young women sits at a table at an obviously fancy affair eating like slobs, pointing silverware at each other, and being generally unladylike. The camera captures a young girl sitting at a nearby table watching the older girls closely.
The intent, of course, is to show young girls that they can live however they want, social norms be damned. But are these women really the type of people we want our children to emulate? I would hope not.
I just don’t get why feminists cling so savagely to the idea that to get ahead they can’t be feminine.
That’s not feminism in my book. That’s just stupid.
H/T: The Huffington Post