Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lynx Stynx!!

Here is one example. Lynx deodorant (aka Axe in the US) perpetuates the idea that a woman's worth is completely based on her sex appeal (yeah I know, that's no different from a lot of advertising) and that a woman's function is purely to satisfy men's sexual cravings. This is an idea that is used a lot in advertising, but I think here it clearly crosses the line. Check out their air stewardesses ad here, one of their shower gel ads here, the 'girls look hot wet' one here. There are HEAPS of these, I have just selected a few.

Not to mention their website. Ugh. As you enter the site, you select your own girl in a bikini, possibly covered in mud, or possibly even two together. If you think this is objectifying women, it goes a step further. The girls have no heads. All that we see of these girls are their torsos. They have been broken down only to particular body parts- sexual ones, reinforcing that the most important features a woman can possess are her breasts, her butt, you get the idea.

Now a new development, recently Lynx has made a getaway accommodation just for men called the Lynx Lodge, basically a brothel where guys can go be serviced by sexy women.

You get the point that I am not a fan of Lynx.

So here is where it gets tricky. Lynx is owned by the company Unilever. They have many other brands, including Dove (remember the campaign for real beauty? Hypocritical much?), Continental (as in soup), OMO, Surf, Flora, Sunsilk,and many more.

If I want to stop giving my money to a company that is getting rich from sexist and degrading attitudes towards women, then I don't buy any of their products.

HOWEVER... A few weeks ago I was doing the grocery shopping, and having decided not to buy Lynx deodorant anymore, I looked around for what I could buy for my husband. Rexona is also a unilever product, so that was out. (As well as Dove and Impulse, but I wasn't considering them for my husband.) Brut is also out (read Melinda Tankard Reist's article about Brut here). What about Mitchum? Check out this interesting website. Cross Mitchum off the list.

So here is a list of deodorants I have on my boycott list: Lynx, Rexona, Dove, Impulse, Brut, Mitchum. And this is JUST deodorant.

Now what the hell is left!?

Do I be stubborn, and refuse to fund messages I strongly disagree with? Do I forget about boycotting all together? Do I write letters to the companies in question? Or do I make a compromise?

I don't have all the answers yet, I am leaning towards a combination of all of the above. I will note buy Lynx, because Lynx in particular disgusts me. I intend to write to Unilever about this. But I also think I may have to make some kind of compromise so I don't make my life ridiculously hard...but I haven't figured out how I can do that yet. In the mean time, wish me luck doing my weekly grocery shop as I stand in front of the deodorant section for about ten minutes.


  1. Tricky! what about one of those deodorant crystals from the health food shop? very manly :)

    If it was me, I think I would write a letter about the Lynx and select from something else. Even if it is Unilever, like you say, they are hard to avoid andthe point is NOT to make your life miserably impossible!

    You could start a facebook page about the Lynx advertising, who knows, it could get media attention and you could change the world!

    Good Luck- let us know what you go with

  2. Hey what's the address for the Mitchum article? the link doesn't work :(

  3. Hey, the site is, and if you select 'girlcotts' there is some more info there. You could possibly even google "mitchum man" or look for ads on youtube : )

  4. I buy the crystal stick from the health shop for me but T isn't keen on that, so he's still stocked up w/Lynx products.

    That lodge is just awful! but only because of the female staff with their cleavage out. I'd be surprised if they're actually cooking/cleaning at the lodges, the actual workers will most likely dress appropriately. As for the cleavage girls, if you take them out of the picture than the lodge sounds like a great idea! but I think that it should also be available for groups of women who want to kayak, rock climb etc. It's not just the boys who like adventure. Then you could also have mixed groups and the guys don't have to be subjected to an imposed definition of their masculinity, they could relate to 'real women' AND have a great time, imagine that!

  5. Hey Maureen. Perhaps I should start having a better look in health shops!

    About the Lynx Lodge, the women will be dressed like that. It is designed to be just for men. This is Unilever's attempt to break into the sex industry. Women are there to give sexy wake up calls, on the spot massages, tuck guests in at night. It is promoted with slogans like "get laid back" and "grab your wood". It is basically a brothel that has not identified itself as such.

    Recently they held a promotion for the lodge in Sydney, out in the middle of the city at 9am on a thursday morning. There were scantily clad girls massaging men, and there was a hot tub with bikini girls in it, with lynx shower gel squirted all over their cleavage (reminiscent of porn culture- MTR).

    A woman who was in the city that day wrote an article about what she saw and how uncomfortable she felt, being among men who were drooling, taking photos and making icky comments.

    I hope the link works

    Anyway, so I think Lynx is disgusting, I could go on forever....but I will refrain! Hope I haven't been too intense for you. Frickin' Lynx misogynists...


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