It’s not every day that a shampoo ad somehow manages to tap into gender inequality, and the drastically different way men and women’s behaviors are perceived. But that’s exactly what a new commercial for Pantene from the Philippines manages to do — and it was powerful enough to catch Sheryl Sandberg’s attention. Yesterday, the Lean In author and Facebook COO helped the minute-long spot go fully viral after posting a glowing status update on Facebook.
Make no mistake, this is still a commercial for hair products (you can tell by all the super-shiny, glossy, bouncy locks), but it still manages to send a powerful message about how double standards still exist. Women aren’t bosses, they’re bossy. We’re not persuasive, we’re pushy. And when we work late, we’re not dedicated, we’re selfish. The message of the clip is “don’t let labels hold you back — be strong and shine.” It’s a great sentiment, and one women need to hear more of, given the litany of negative messages we’re constantly fed — that we’re simply too aggressive or pushy, or much. The truth is, women are too often held back by others’ perceptions of them; hopefully seeing images and ads like this will encourage women to stop sabotaging themselves and change the conversation.
Check out the full commercial below: