Dear Advertisers, Not All Women Are Obsessed With Shoes

Is it already time again to write the world a letter asking it to please quit it with using stop-it-hurts-so-sexist stereotypes?

So here’s what went down. Last week, right before the European Cup Champion League Final was televised in Brazil (I’m not a big soccer fan/expert, but I know enough about the sport to know that soccer plus South American country equals MONSTER-SIZED DEAL) Heineken Beer partnered with company Shoestock to offer a half-off sale on their shoes to women during the game. The ad’s argument was that the sale would keep wives and girlfriends busy so that menfolk would be free to watch the game in peace.

Here’s what’s hilarious about the backasswardness of this ad: during the last World Cup, the majority of Brazilian viewers were WOMEN. That’s a statistic. I thought advertisers were supposed to research demographics so they could create ads that actually appeal to customers that exist in real life. Women are not fashion zombies, staggering around with their arms straight out, drooling all over their faces as they mutter-mumble “Shoooooesss…shooessss…SHOOESSSSS.” It makes no logical sense to ignore stats in favor of straight-up sexism. That’s the really creepy thing about this ad, though, it PREFERRED its sad old stereotypes to the truth of the situation. That’s the really sad thing about a lot of sexism perpetuated by the media. The over-simplification of gender stereotypes appear to be far more interesting (or straight-up easier to portray) than the truth.

Sure, plenty of women like shoes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, as I said before, we’re not shoe zombies. Most women I know like their footwear to be awesome and functional just like they like their cars and phones to be awesome and functional. Having a great pair of shoes that makes you feel like you can take on the world is a beautiful thing. But I don’t know ANY woman who eats, breathes, sleeps, and LIVES SHOES. (This girl may well exist, I just don’t know her.) I also don’t know any woman that mainlines chocolate like a drug or who turns into a “Game of Thrones” dragon when she’s on her period. We have to call shenanigans on sexist stereotypes because they attempt to transform women into Looney Tunes characters instead of letting women just be women.

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