Daddy’s Girl…

I have seen an influx in the media about the topic of father-daughter relationships. Here are two links to videos that I find incredibly problematic…

  1. Toyota Corolla 2013
  2. Daddies money

It almost seems unnecessary to discuss why these commercials are so problematic. However; someone somewhere has decided that these commercials 1. Are good enough to hire actors for and create 2. Are good enough to be aired on television

Young girls may see these commercials and think that this is what a relationship between a father and daughter is supposed to be like…the mainstream media is certainly saying so.  Girls will learn to act like the daughter in the Toyota Corolla commercial, quiet, coy, polite, and wearing a school girl outfit of course. What happens to “good girls”? Their fathers buy them new cars and send them to college…OR… their fathers buy those shoes that look like sneakers but are really high heels!

How do images like these affect girls in the long run? It is obvious that these media images are suggesting that the ideal family structure is hetero-normative and there is a father around to dish money out. Additionally, these media images suggest to young girls that their fathers are the financially stable parent whose job it is to provide for the family. According to statistics given by Liza Mundy in her book The Richer Sex, women are rising up the educational and economic ladders at an all-time high. So while women in recent years are turning out to be the breadwoman of the family, the media is continuing to suggest to young girls that this simply is not true. MEN are the ones who have the money and FEMALES must behave a certain way in order to get the things that they want…I think that this message may go beyond the father. It teaches girls to act this way around all males in order to get what they want…to perform femininity to a point that is cute and virginal, but truly manipulative, in order to get those stupid shoes that look like sneakers but make you taller and sexier…so that girls can get optimum attention from boys.

As we have seen in prior stages of feminism, there has always been a backlash against the progress of the women in the public and private spheres. Perhaps these videos are a part of the backlash pertaining to women’s economic development in the United States. Maybe this is an attempt to bring it back to the “good old days” when a woman depended on a man…first her daddy then her husband…

Therefore Never Fear…




About ainge002

Senior at Old Dominion University studying Women's Studies and Political Science.
This entry was posted in Advertizing / Marketing, Economics, Fashion, Fathers & Fatherhood, Performance. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Daddy’s Girl…

  1. jhump017 says:

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. I was just watching the Toyota commercial and thinking to myself, is that how teenage girls are being portrayed now. Of course, she is in a school uniform which furthers add fuel to the fire. I thought this was very biased especially as a women myself. In my lifetime, we have always been seen as ditzy girls only after a man’s money, either a boyfriend or father figure. This was a great article, i enjoyed it!

  2. I always look at this commercial and say bullshit lol. Because it really dosen’t work that way, its like if she shows that she is excited about the car then maybe he will wonder why and change his mind lol. Looking at that commercial irritates me a little because yes she is in this school girl outfit, quiet as a mouse, and when she does speak its “yes father”, respecting you parents is good of course but the way these commercial have us girls and women look and act are rediculous sometimes. I agree with your statement about the message it may send , men have the money thereforethe women have to behave correctly to get what they want.

  3. I think both these commercials are being ironic with the “daddy’s girl” trope in the sense that the audience and the “girl” know something that the “daddy” does not. So the commercial is asking us to identify with the female character and though we might not approve of her behavior she is getting what she wants not to mention the fact that she has this knowledge, all of which can be read as empowering. The thing about irony and the ironic posture is that it kind of sets up this shield, rhetorically speaking, that protects against straightforward critiques like yours. Which, you make valid points, but ironic narratives are moving targets. You will have to make extra effort to chase them down. Perhaps that is why they are so popular right now (see: John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, South Park)

  4. ainge002 says:

    I agree! I think that by poking fun at the stereotype the advertiser is able to hide behind the “it’s only a joke” film. The female characters are portrayed as manipulative and this could have serious consequences for impressionable young girls. These products are selling! So the advertisements must be working right? Whether or not it is a “joke” or “ironic” these advertisements are certainly getting out to the public.

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