What Does “Having It All ” Smell Like

Thinking back on how and why women entered the work force, I immediately thought about the commercial Enjoli. Enjoli was a fragrance created by Revlon in the late 1970’s. The target audience was working women. How funny was it that women can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man as the lyrics suggest?  There is a lot of conversation about Enjoli on the web, but most complain about how the commercial enraged feminists and setback women around the nation. Well, enough of that. I see the commercials as way to celebrate women wanting more from life and being able to smell good too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates in 1980 there were 17 million working mothers which was an increase of 44% from 1970. Women didn’t just feel empowered to enter the work force but seemingly expected to. High divorce rates, the women’s liberation movement and cultural ideology suggesting mothers need to enter the work force; women had to be smart but sexy and assertive but not aggressive, to be everything women could be. Women entered the work force with high expectations of a career and would develop ways to make work fit into home life. Balancing family with work became a new lifestyle. Men were supposed to work, come home to dinner on the table and maybe some family time with the kids if he wasn’t too tired. Women on the other hand had to get kids ready for school, work 9 to 5, help with homework, cook dinner then as Enjoli suggest be a sexy vixen. Do women really need to aspire to be everything to everybody especially with a marketed fragrance? Revlon suggests women can be the breadwinner (bring home the bacon), mother and sexy wife. Was this marketing campaign geared toward women making them feel empowered or toward men who by purchasing this fragrance that their wives would be a sexy “have it all” woman who would not emasculate them by being everything? The tall blond in the commercial went from business attire to causal home clothes then a sexy cocktail dress; do women really want to be all the things suggested by the commercial? Maybe, maybe not, after working hard all day then coming home to family chores, who is really thinking about being sexy for their man?  Men should consider that women can be many things: a mother, career women and lover, but not all in one day. Since the 1980’s most every day, women across the nation are doing it all.  So, back to my thought about women entering the work force, more and more women are entering male dominated sectors of the work force. In many cases the men are becoming stay at home dads. Where’s their signature fragrance? I am proud to be a woman today, going back to school after being in the work force for 28 years. Women’s roles are constantly changing and they are becoming heads of companies as well as bread winners in households. There is no better time to celebrate being a women and embracing the advances we have made as a whole. Helen Reddy said it best; I am Woman Hear Me Roar.  To all those Condoleezza’s, Hillary’s, single working moms, policewomen, surgeons, construction women, lawyers, CEO’S and CFO’s wear your Enjoli proudly.


About insuru

I believe that it takes less time to do something right than to explain why you didn't.
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2 Responses to What Does “Having It All ” Smell Like

  1. I love that this commercial made such an impression on you that the memory of it has stuck with you. Are people really talking bad about it on the Internet like you say? Obviously someone else remembers it too because they thought to upload it to YouTube. I wish you would share with us the links, so we can see what is being said.

    • insuru says:

      This jingle was so catchy that was all I could think of.I grew up on jingles and thay jsut seem to stick with me. The implications of this ad had no imapct on me until this class.

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