Sociological Images (Boys Want Success, Girls Want Boys) noted a recent Acuvue contact lens commercial aimed at teens that reinforces both gender and racial stereotypes.
The teens look forward to their futures. For the boys, these involve future career success — notice the African American teen dreams of being a famous athlete, while the White boy’s future involves moving up the corporate career ladder. And what does the girl’s life hold? A boy who currently ignores her will want to dance with her.
(video removed by J&J)
The boys are future role models and leaders, while the height of the girl’s future is that she gets to be desired. Acuvue is a Johnson and Johnson product. For a company with a growing reputation on the use of social media, the commercial comes as something of a shock.
Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading brands to take social media and engage bloggers to use their influence for good. Two weeks ago influencer mom bloggers were invited as consultants to a salon hosted by Johnson & Johnson to brainstorm about philanthropy and social good. (Johnson & Johnson Focuses on Social Media for Social Good)
Would a more diverse board of directors avoid such stereotyping? Maybe not. J&Js board is already diverse. Let’s hope the company moves through this stereotyping quickly and into more positive territory. Or maybe this was just an anomaly.