Sunday, March 25, 2012

God, Jamie. I Hope That Shit Is Making You Rich

Of all the stuff going on in my life and in the world the thing I really have to (really, I HAVE to) talk about today is Jamie Lee Curtis and her newest commercial running on the TV about Activia, which is a brand of yogurt that has a whole lot of probiotics or something like that in it and is supposedly good for your digestive system.
Now, okay, Jamie Lee Curtis has always seemed to me to be a sensible, beautiful woman who has tackled the aging process with grace and dignity and honesty rather than with plastic surgery and Botox but my opinion of her just fell through the basement after watching this commercial for about the first, second, third time last night.

Here's the set-up for the ad: Jamie is sitting at a table in a restaurant with three EXTREMELY normal-looking older women. Older as in probably approximately Jamie Lee's age but without the benefit of excellent make-up skills, access to designer clothes, and Pilates instructors. Jamie Lee smiles big for the camera and announces...oh hell, y'all, just watch it. It's only 31 seconds long.

I have so many problems with this ad that I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts.
The first and main one, I suppose is very idea that four women would go out for a girl's night out TO DISCUSS A FUCKING YOGURT PRODUCT THAT MAKES YOU POOP!

Really? Who came up with this concept? Is this supposed to make us women over fifty want to go out and buy Activia? Because we can relate so much? One of the women in the group says, "Just because we're over fifty what does that mean? That we're DONE?"

And what the fuck does THAT mean? That we over-fifty women are done pooping? Because if it's supposed to mean that being over fifty means that we're done having fun and living life, I think this commercial would point to just that- if we're on the TV it's because we're talking about yogurt that makes you POOP! That if we over-fifty women go out on the town it's not to drink martinis and have what would actually be a good time, but to discuss the merits of a poop-inducing product?

I sort of want to shoot whoever wrote that ad. I sort of want to get up in Jamie Lee's face and say, "Really? How much are they PAYING you because this is crap. Crap that makes me not want to ever buy the product you're shilling because this crap is demeaning to women."

Yes. I said it. It's demeaning to women and it makes us older women look like we have nothing better to talk about on a night out on the town with other older women than our digestive systems and that we would go to all the trouble to put on make-up and BRAS and go to a fancy restaurant and order a giant bowl of some pasta-looking product and then sit there with Jamie Lee Curtis and drink our water (either it's water or giant glasses of vodka and it would take more than one of those to make ME talk about my pooping on a nationally-aired TV commercial) and discuss the merits of regular digestion and then eat that stuff for the camera.

Good god. As if women over fifty don't have enough trouble with our self-images.

You know, I read a little piece the other day about how Bruce Springsteen's writing about women is sadly short of complexity. How his women are either girls who need rescuing or the eternal "Mary" and I came away from that thinking, "Shit. It's Bruce Springsteen. How politically correct does he have to be? His songs, his words, his take on the world."
And so I would never have thought to be offended by Springsteen's lyrics. In fact, I love them. I also feel that his songs are humanly representational- neither male nor female. We can all relate to the longings and the pain and the fear and the joys he expresses in his songs. So I was a bit put-off by the author of that little essay and wondering why she'd bothered.

But this ad was written and targeted directly at ME, at women my age. It stars a woman who has posed nude-ish and un-airbrushed un-photoshopped on the cover of magazines to prove the point that real women not only have curves but cellulite and bulges and wrinkles and gray hair, which, for a woman in Hollywood, is a brave thing to do and which I admired her for.

And now this. This piece of film (and oh yes- you can go online and see the thrilling backstory of how they got these three women- real life best friends! to fly to LA and make this commercial with the amazing star JAMIE LEE CURTIS!), this thirty seconds of complete and utter disrespectful dreck is airing every five minutes and all I can think of is how much it insults me and how much I hate it and maybe I'm making way too much of it but fuck it. That's me.

I went out for a night on the town the other night. I put on make-up. I wore a bra. I had drinks. I had dinner and it was fabulous. I also had some creme brulee and coffee. I listened to music. I visited with my husband and two of my daughters and other people who were there to eat and listen to music and visit. I even danced. But not ONCE did I think about my digestive system. Not ONCE did I consider eating a fucking yogurt out of a fucking plastic cup and making a face while doing so resembling that of a woman in joyous passion.

I was told that I was beautiful. I felt for a few moments as if maybe, even though I am in that over-fifty category, I wasn't completely done. With any of it. Not of fun nor of life. It was lovely.

All right. That's all I have to say about that. But seriously- what do YOU think? Am I making too big a deal out of this? Yes. I know I am. But does this commercial push your buttons the way it pushed mine?

I'd like your take on it.

Meanwhile, happy Sunday from the Church of the Batshit Crazy. I just ate eggs and grits and sausage and biscuits and I ain't worried about my poop one bit.
Of course no one is paying me to worry about or talk about it either one.

Which makes me pretty darn happy to be just a regular older woman in this world who has better things to worry about, better things to do and better things to eat than a cup of friendly flora wrapped in non-fat yogurt and then to talk about it as if it were the Fountain of Youth, the Holy Grail, and the Answers To All My Prayers wrapped up in a cup.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon


  1. I watched a show on yogurts with probiotics. For the majority of those yogurts you would have to have 25/30 of them to get enough probiotics to make a difference. They are a gimmick.

    And here is this...

  2. Most of the ads fall under the category pure shit if you ask me. I have this tendency to NOT buy ad products because they make my tv looking life hell. Guess they make that crap because after airing they do sell more. If we all stopped buying it, they finally might realize that more people hate ads then people loving ads...
    Another thing that bugs me beyond words is that ads for sanitary napkins always have blue blood...

  3. A boss of mine ate too much of that stuff one time and had to take a day off work.

  4. Oh DTG that is very funny!

    Hmmm ... internet is too slow to watch the clip, though I'm sure I agree with you. It's like those stupid douche commercials of years past (do they still make them?) where women would talk about it. Is that really what we women talk about all the time? No, it is not. But my conversations breach a whole wide range of topics which may definitely touch on genitalia and GI tract as well as social justice and international rule of law.

    But I will say this - I think about my digestive system A LOT and talk about it as much as I can without making people walk away, because with all my wanderings through many places, I've picked up some issues. And I love-love-love Activia because it makes me not have to always think about where the nearest toilet is if I want to eat anything other than plain white rice.

    What really makes me laugh is that there's a whole section of Activia in the supermarket near me here in Baku. Almost everything is Azerbaijani or Russian, except that Activia.

    We're right by the birthplace of yogurt, and yet still Activia gets people here. I haven't had to buy it here, thank goodness, because I'm dousing everything in fresh kefir. Yum!

  5. I also wonder why Jamie is doing these ads (I've been seeing them for many months now). I suppose since no one in Hollywood is hiring her because there are few parts for real older women, she's gotta pay her mortgage somehow. I make a point of not buying Activia although I do eat a lot of yogurt. It's not really meant to make you poop as such but aids in digestion - breaking down the food etc. and balance out other bugs in the system. I've had trouble with digestion - although I poop just fine thanks - since my 30's. I don't know if yogurt actually helps, but it doesn't hurt. The bowl of pasta would hurt.

    But even throwing the line in there that women over 50 might be done is grossly insulting. And why a night out? It would make a lot more sense if they were having a lazy Saturday breakfast with granola and fruit and muffins etc. After the night out. When they aren't feeling so hot. They'd sell a shitload of yogurt of they had people thinking it would make their hangover better.

  6. Good GRief, how right you are,.. what a shockingly stupid waste of time filming this, bet it was thought up by a man, its so demeaning that these women on a night together would even chat about this activia for one second... go get real... stupid waste of time, and if it was over here, I would have to switch the tv off!!! You are completely right Mrs M, thers much better things to talk about.. some too personal to put here, but life is all about living and not dissecting what you put into your body!!

  7. Haha, well, the good news is that they were overly vague and euphemistic. Pro biotics aren't about pooping, so much :)

    However, those yoghurty probiotic products aren't worth poop, they're all just loaded with sugar and at least didn't used to have the pro-bs they claimed to have in one study I read about. If you need pro biotics, just buy pro biotics. Udo's Choice! Especially if it's for thrush, sugary dairy isn't your friend if you have thrush...

    But as for the rest, meh, You're right.

  8. I hate that over 50 line also. Every time, it makes me stop and think "what the hell?". It is a rather condescending ad, but what I think are even worse are the ads for guys with a problem.

    I kind of have a fixation with who buys which yogurt in the store, and there are a heck of a lot of older women buying Activia. You hardly ever see men buying yogurt.

  9. yah, I hate these commercials too. and I hate the ones for the osteoporosis meds which have heinous side effects if you get them and, research is now proving that women on these drugs still get broken hips, maybe more so cause what they do is not create healthy strong bone but prevent the body from breaking down weak old bone. that's how they build bone mass. so women take these drugs because movie stars tell them to instead of building strong bone and muscle through exercise.

  10. Birdie- And yet, on those ads, they say things like, "Why wouldn't you want to feel WONDERFUL?" implying all sorts of dishonest shit. Really?

    Photocat- Yes. As if women leaked blue Kool Aid out of their vaginas each month. Jesus.

    DTG- Too regular, eh?

    NOLA- I am not denigrating the role of yogurt in our lives. It's just the ad which is so offensive.

    Jeannie- You are exactly right about the morning-after ad being so much more appropriate.
    And I'm sorry- I just can't believe that Jamie Lee Curtis is THAT hard up for money.

    Janzi- I think that after a few drinks women of that age would be far more apt to talk about hot flashes and vaginal dryness and oh, maybe Johnny Depp.

    Jo- Hey! I love yogurt. But dammit, it is NOT the key to life.

    Rubye Jack- Well, I do see men buying yogurt. And you're right about those viagra ads which I find to be as demeaning towards women as to the men in them.

    Ellen- You can't sell exercise now, can you? But you can sure as shit sell a product called BONIVA. Or Boneva or whatever the hell it is.

  11. You have to wonder if they have any pride left and just how much money do they need?? Another thing that bugs me is the "tell all" books. When Elizabeth Roberts(I think that was her last name..ha!how easy we forget) was out selling her book and just about dying from breast cancer and had to go over and over her husband's affair I thought to myself "Why are you doing this"?...surely you don't need the money....

  12. Yes, yes, you are 100% right about those wretched commercials for Activia.....not just the most recent but the whole bloomin' series. I am sorry that Jamie Lee, whom I like, stooped to becoming the spokesperson for those awful words and vile intimationa.

    Trouble is, (no one else seems to think of this) there ARE many unfortunates out there who, shall we say, need all the help they can get in the pooping department. Anyone who has ever heard of Lazy Bowel syndrome and Impaction knows that there is a far worse condition than pooping too much. If Activia helps them I say fine, but puleeze guys...... change your Ad campaign or better yet, your Ad

    Sorry Jamie.... get some scruples. ( or maybe I am just green with jealously that you are getting the chance to rub against and cuddle up to Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS....sigh.)

  13. hahaha. she never says poop. she does a thing with her hands. i asked my son once does this product make your innards dance? can you tie em in a bow can you toss em too and fro? is she the advert the TRUE meaning of the advert only for people who speak ASL?

    I eat yogurt every day. Plain nonfat Greek yogurt. has nothing to do with pooping or not pooping. has to do with the fact that i'm going to have a catheter in my body sending antibiotics straight to my heart. probiotics. yes.

    it's an irritating advert. i hope she gets rich from it. i don't care. i think the advert would have been at least honest if she said LOOK HERE ARE ALL MY CONSTIPATED FRIENDS WHO DO NOTHING BUT SIT IN FRONT OF THE TELLY EVERY DAY. i'm sure yogurt will cure them. or MOVING.

  14. I am not even close to 50 yet, but I found this ad demeaning and patently stupid. If the target audience of this ad are women with the IQ of a cave bat, the marketing team has certainly succeeded in matching the content of the ad to that target audience.

    If I were buying Activia, I would stop buying it because of this ad. I have done ad boycotts before and while I knew they made no difference, they were very satisfying for me.

  15. Yep, I hate it too. It's not even good yogurt! It's full of sugar and shit!

    I think that most people of all ages eat so much processed food that they need to take supplements and tons of antacids and other heartburny, digestive aides... but what they really need to do is eat a real vegetable once in a while and some damn fruit! Anyway, because we are lazy Americans we want to go on eating our fried chicken, burgers and wings, we just don't want to listen when our bodies tell us how bad it is for us. So then we have weak ass commercials by Hollywood icons telling us to eat "probiotic yogurt". What evs...

    I'm just glad I don't watch TV anymore so I don't have to see it!

  16. PS Wasn't the weather divine today? It thought of what you might be doing out in the divine temperate day!

  17. This sort of thing is one of the reasons i turned off my tv over 10 years ago and haven't felt the need to turn it back on.

  18. aint for city gals- Elizabeth Edwards. And she's dead. I completely know what you're talking about. Did she define herself by her husband and her cancer? Yes. She did.

    Lo- Hell. I'm not saying that regularity isn't important. It is! make it sound like it's the most important thing about aging is just disgusting. And insulting.

    Madame King- What can I say except that I love you and every comment you make is a poem directly sent to my heart.

    White Coat Dreamer- Hell yes! Thank-you for understanding.

    Ms. Fleur- Well I know it can't compare in taste to Greek yogurt but that's not even the point. It's the damn condescending attitude of "oh, we know what you ladies are worried about." As if.
    And yes, the weather was amazing today and I see that you were out in it. I was too.

    messymimi- I watch a very small amount of TV which is probably why I was so shocked at this commercial. But I do watch some and dammit- this sucked.

  19. I hate all ads but especially the ones about ED. For God's sake, let's have a four hour erection. The moment is right shit--it just makes me twinge and not in a good way.

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  21. I've lately gone back to making yogurt at home. Sooo easy and some batches are better than any I've ever bought.

    I took pro-biotics in pill form with me on the trip to Vietnam and the regular consumption of them saved my ass, so to speak, and that of my brother as well.

    The inanity of the advertising made me switch off commercial TV. Who needs it?

    WRT your post about Angry Sunday: Sending wishes for a Joyous Monday. x0

  22. beer is a probiotic and it makes you shit- let's just all drink beer in protest- besides, it tastes way better than activia.


  23. I totally understand and agree with you Mary! Why all the commercials are filled with the supposed "down side"' of aging. What about they we live! WE certainly are!!! Just because the baby boomers are all approaching or are in the middle years or older shouldn't mean the it is a digestive issue, an erectile issue, a bowel or pee issue. I understand that yes it does happen and I am not in denial but really to make it so silly the way the ads are.

    Maybe we are just to sensitive...I guess that is why I don't listen to commercials anymore. We tape our TV shows we like and I fast forward through every commercial.


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