Monday 11 April 2011

Real Men Do Their Own Laundry..?

Demi Moore and Aston Kutcher have launched a new celebrity endorsed campaign in an attempt to combat child sex trafficking and educate the public about the horrors of this illegal trade.  Eva Longoria, Sean Penn and Justin Timberlake are only a few of the celebrities involved in this campaign.  As great an idea for a campaign I think it is, child sex trafficking is subject I feel very strongly about, I feel that they have gone about their project entirely the wrong way.

Celebrity endorsement is often a great marketing tool for reaching the public, particularly those interested in current celebrity media and famous faces, but for a campaign with such serious connotations, such as sex slavery, needs a justifiably resolute campaign and not almost light hearted themes of 'Real Men Know How to Use an Iron' and 'Real Men Do Their Own Laundry'.  I don't doubt by any stretch of the imagination that Demi Moore and Aston Kutcher had honest and genuine intentions with their campaign but a more hard hitting and realistic view of sex trafficking would probably do a better job. 

The entire industry generates $39 billion annually and according to Aston's own research the average age of a girl involved in the sex trade is 13 and the average man who buys a girl is 30-years-old, has no prior criminal record, and has a well-paying job. 

In the viral for Justin Timberlake's video he is seen preparing to shave and beginning to use a chainsaw to remove his 3 day stubble - what has this to do with stopping sex slavery? The tag line for this video is 'Real Men Prefer a Close Shave'.  I entirely agree with this comment but what is the relevance? Bradley Cooper is seen making cereal by pouring milk into the box along with the phrase 'Real Men Know How to Make a Meal'.  Is this trying to point to this celebrities are not real men as they are going about their lives in lazy or stupid ways? And therefore engaging in sex with minors? The last scene of each viral shows Eva Longoria pointing out 'real men' in frames around a room and asking the viewer 'are you a real man?' or 'do you prefer a real man?' concluding the confusion each viewer is likely to experience. 

With the amount of money and contacts available to the celebrities involved could they have not really made an effort and maybe even created a more serious, even if controversial, campaign.  I feel a subject like this deserves a relevant and maybe even hard hitting campaign to really make people aware, not just watching Sean Penn iron a sandwich.

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