It’s hard being a sports fan who self identifies as a feminist. Largely that is because so much advertising can be offensive. Have you seen the latest Miller Lite Beer commercials? They feature various versions of their new slogan “Man Up” – all selling the idea that without drinking what is being presented as the best light beer, a consumer isn’t “manly” enough.
The multiple commercials show a variety of sexist scenes ranging from training ultra femme women wearing bathing suits to save their man from drinking a less masculine beer, to negatively commenting towards a man choosing to buy a different light beer and strawberry body wash. You can even follow the “Liteguards” individually, as if they were weekly Playboy Playmates, offering advice and tips on “manning up.”
This form of advertising is problematic for a variety of reasons. First, beer drinkers aren’t only men. Second, we should not be sending messages to men or women that suggest that the most masculine is the most elite. I realize historically most light beers are advertised to women because, unfortunately, historically we equate weight issues as women’s issues, but trying to tap in to the large male base of beer drinkers by attempting to disassociate your light beer as not part of the other womanly light beers forces you to redefine stereotypical gender roles.
Aside from the hetero-normative narrative that all of these women have men or are seeking relationships with them, perpetuating the notion that women are somehow responsible for taking care of their “man” is also problematic and frankly annoying that we still have to highlight that issue.
I realize some people will enjoy the playful nature of these commercials and because Miller Lite has created multiple advertisements, we can assume they are doing well. But doing well at the expense of women is no longer acceptable.
I am a firm believer in the power of humanity and part of that is the understanding that we can teach people how we want to be treated. I am an occasional beer drinker, but I can be clear that I will probably never consume a Miller beverage again. It may feel like a drop in a large ocean, but it is what I can do to contribute. It is especially important to me because the point of advertising is to sell a product. Instead, Miller has lost a consumer and hopefully by spreading awareness, they will lose many more.
What do you think? If you do enjoy beer as a beverage choice, will you choose to drink Miller Lite?
Photo by: Bautista