Rarely do I see a commercial that has any redeeming value these days. Those cheap gimmicks are more likely to inspire an eye-roll than my whipping out my wallet. Not so of the new Pantene ad. It's quite honestly one of the most thought-provoking and culturally relevant TV spots ever to hit the tube. It's one every single woman should watch. Why? Because it drives home one simple fact every woman is forced to acknowledge at some point. And that is life is not fair for the so-called fairer sex. Take a look:
I know I risk sounding like a toddler when I say life isn't fair. But it really isn't. Not for many people in our world. But for this post, my focus is just on 50 percent of it. Women. And specifically women in the workplace. It's not just about breaking the glass ceiling, it's also about battling horribly negative perceptions. As the commercial shows, when men lead, they are considered "the boss." When women do it, they are "bossy." Men are "persuasive." Women are "pushy." The career-driven family man is "dedicated." A similarly focused woman with children is "selfish."
The ad says, "Don't let labels hold you back." But that can be an incredibly hard task in a society that still expects certain things out of all women. The way the world views us can be emotionally crippling at times, especially when we buck the mold.
We can work our butts off, cure diseases, become titans of industry, but even as the compliments roll in, there will be negative whispers about how we got there or what we selfishly sacrificed to do it. The double standard is alive and well no matter how many Marissa Mayers or Sheryl Sandbergs there are.
That's not to say that things can't change. They can. How? We have to keep doing what we are doing. Work toward our goals and dreams. Reach our achievements without being dissuaded by outdated conventions. But probably the most important tool any woman can have (whether you are a CEO or SAHM): A support group of like-minded women who will rally around her. Because we may not be able to change everyone's perception of us, but we can certainly change its ability to affect us.
Have you been a victim of this double standard?
Image via Pantene