Tampon/Maxi pad commercials are always a wee bit odd and awkward; many of them go to rather unusual lengths to promote their products which have nothing to do with them being absorbent, convenient, or easily applied. It’s in this vein of awkward marketing that commercials like this are born.
[Description of video: In a bathroom, there are two women in front of the mirror, one is a white, blonde, cisgendered woman, the other one is a white, blonde trans woman* who is wearing fake eyelashes, gaudy make-up, oversized jewellery, and claw-like fingernails painted gold. The second woman rummages through her purse to find some make up and begin applying it. The first woman eyes her uneasily, then takes out her own make up from her purse and begins applying. The two gradually build up to a “competition” of who is putting on their make-up more aggressively, glaring at each other from the corners of their eyes, then engaging in more competitive primping by lifting their bras. The first woman then pulls out a package of tampons as her “trump card”, the second woman looks annoyed then walks away from the mirror, “defeated”. The scene switches to a picture of the tampons, with the slogan “Libra gets girls”, End description]
Honestly, after this commercial, I was a little more than speechless. There was so much that was jaw-droppingly absurd and stupid about it, I needed a few minutes to collect myself before I could write this.
Now that I have all of my faculties back online though, I’m just marvelling at all of the bad thought that went into it: Playing up the stereotype of trans women being ugly and performing femininity in a caricatured fashion, assuming there’s automatic animosity and competition between cis women and trans women, using a biological function to determine who is a “real” woman… Ugh ugh ugh.
Who thought that this would be a good way to sell tampons? Who thought that any good, intelligent, rational woman who menstruates would look at that, laugh, and think, “Next time I go shopping, I am going to pick out some Libra pads for my next period, and use them to prove I am the ultimate final say in being a woman, and anyone who doesn’t have a menstruating vagina can’t say a word to that!”
Whatever it was that went through their minds, I hope they apologize. In the meantime, I would urge any readers of mine who are Australian/New Zealanders and have periods to pick a brand other than Libra for your menstrual needs. In fact, if you have Lunapads and Diva Cups in your region, why not make a switch to them instead? They replace 120 disposable pads or tampons per year from their use, and that’s 120 fewer in the landfill and less money into the pockets of companies which think transphobia is a good way to sell their stuff.
* Note: If you come on here only to tell me that the person in the video is meant to be a drag queen or a transvestite, not a trans woman, and therefore negates the offensiveness of the commercial, I will blast you with the delete button so hard it will make you quake in your boots.