Friday, April 20, 2007

I've never seen the MTV show My Super Sweet 16, so the most offensive thing I've ever witnessed on TV would have to be an anti-smoking ad. It begins with the statistic that 86% of teens would prefer to date a non-smoker. It then shows a girl saying she'd date whoever, including a smoker. The viewer is supposed to be disgusted by this girl, and so, theoretically, if they have high standards, they won't smoke so they can have their pick of the dating pool. The girl shown isn't actually that bad-looking. She is, at worst, just a normal person, and could even be described as kind of cute. She has glasses and an overbite. That's about as bad as it gets.

This ad is awful for a number of reasons- The first thing that jumps out at you is its assertion that this completely normal looking person should be considered disgusting and unlovable. Then there's the larger fact that these anti-smoking ads are only targeted to teenagers who are underage- Once you turn eighteen, the only thing telling you that smoking is a bad idea is the Surgeon General's Warning. Said Surgeon General's Warning make a much better anti-smoking advertisement than those shown on TV, which I believe in general are subsidized by tobacco companies. Even the whole fact that all of these ads for teenagers are targeted so much towards shallowness and seeming attractive and relationships is kind of offensive- Like the anti-pot PSAs which make a big deal about how you will eat more and thus gain weight.

Although again: I have no problem with the Souther Salazar anti-pot ads. I think those are great.

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