Selling Womanhood: Crest

The way that people talk about gender make it sound like it's purely biological and immutable.  Boys and men are aggressive, driven by their biological urges, and competitive; girls and women are passive, reserved, and gentle.  What this idea misses is that gender is a social construction that has changed over time, and is shaped by many different forces.  One of those forces is from billions of dollars in advertising. 

Consider the Crest 3D White toothpaste commercial below.  As a way of selling toothpaste to women, Crest's argument is that our toothpaste will help you get a husband.  The woman is passive in the commercial, she can't go up and talk to the guy she likes, she has to find a way to lure him over, which according to Crest requires a perfect white smile. She's also defined by her relationships with others, finding a soulmate, husband, father of her children. The woman is reduced to maintaining or improving her appearance and waiting for a man to make her dreams come true.