Considering celebrity endorsements on International Women's Day
Actress Salma Hayek is seen with her husband François-Henri Pinault, CEO of multinational firm PPR, in Santa Monica, Calif. Hayek is one of the co-founders of the the female empowerment initiative Chime for Change. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
How many steps forward? How many steps back?
Thinking about International Women's Day today, I find it hard to keep track of the gains made by the sleeker sex.
Take, for instance, the recently announced campaign Chime for Change. Spearheaded by Salma Hayek, singer Beyoncé and fashion designer Frida Giannini, the initiative revolves around 10 short films created to champion women's rights around the world. Actresses Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep have hopped on board, too.
Sounds amazing, right? Well, if you've got raised eyebrows, maybe it's because all of this feel-goodness is brought to us by fashion label Gucci. This makes sense when you remember that Hayek is married to François-Henri Pinault, the man behind the luxury brand's multinational parent company.
One could say: "Good for her. Glad to see she's putting all of her money and power toward something positive."
The same goes for Beyoncé. She uses her Pepsi-associated superpowers for good, right?
Well, perhaps it's because today is International Women's Day, but my brain is having trouble meshing the notion of empowering women with everything that luxury labels and sugary soft drinks stand for. I can't divorce the negative impact these industries have on the very group they're so magnanimously supporting.
Luxury fashion labels bank on our insecurities and seduce us with the promise of elevated social standing if we wear their goods -- nevermind that those heels are painful and are produced for a fraction of what we pay for them.
And the negatives of soda? Well, that's been covered to extensively that any diatribe I can offer about obesity and overall health is moot.
What's a girl to do? What's a woman to do? In the name of productivity, I'll default to positivity. Although I'll still keep my eyebrows raised, I'll also turn my focus to the very real strides made by women around the world every day. Here's lookin' at you, mom.
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