There are lots of things that go without saying: don't drive with sunshield in place, this product is hot when heated, never iron clothes while they are being worn, that sort of thing. We all know what certain products are for and how to use them without having to sit through a how-to demonstration, and, despite what many companies may think, there are lots of products that come with instructions we would all prefer to read quietly in our bathrooms and not be exposed to on our television. Especially, but not limited to, romantic enhancement products that come with four-hour-emergency warnings.
Naturally it follows that we do not need our sitcoms interrupted with detailed instructions for any product that handles bodily functions. We all know how tampons and pregnancy tests work; therefore, EPT, we do not need a commercial which tells us that your product is the "most advanced piece of technology [we] will ever pee on" complete with visual demonstration.
Thank you, but TMI.
So, I've been happy that, for the most part, commercials for diapers involved cute, chubby babies crawling around and giggling. We all know what diapers are for; the happy, contented baby is all we need to see. No discussion of bodily functions (or fluids) is necessary.
I guess Huggies missed my memo. For those who haven't seen their latest commercial, Huggies is touting a new "jeans diaper" with the slogan, "The coolest you'll look pooping your pants." Really.
It features a toddler turning heads as he walks down the street in his blue jean bottoms. The voiceover tells us that "my diaper is full... full of chic. when it's a number two I look like number one. I poo in blue."
Okay, I get it. I see why people think it's funny. But must we be so crass about everything? Maybe I'm reading too much into it (or maybe it's just the fact that I'm fresh off of reading Wendy Shalit's excellent book Girls Gone Mild) but the way the wind blew through the lunching models' hair as the catwalk music bounced the baby down the street - they aren't just trying to imply that the baby is cool; they are trying to imply that he is sexy! A toddler, for crying out loud!
That said, I think the reason this commercial bothers me is not so much that it is a diaper advertisement talking bluntly about poop (or trying to make a baby look sexy); what bothers me is what it represents: a lack of refinement that has threaded its way through our society so completely that we no longer know what is appropriate or what is actually funny.
I don't know about you, but it makes me want kick up my feet and watch an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Or at least raise my pinkie as I drink my afternoon tea.
If I drank tea, that is.