Problematizing Dollar Shave Club’s Viral Video

…is not very difficult. Can we get rid of the myth of white male as savior of oppressed peoples the world over? From colonial origins to its corporate, Randian manifestation today–o ye Provider of Jobs–it’s just kinda disgusting. Friends showed me the One Dollar Shave Club commercial the other day, and I couldn’t understand what was supposed to be so funny. There’s this straightfaced mock-bravura thing that is becoming the only way anyone markets to males. Probably it started with, or was popularized by, the Old Spice and Most Interesting Man commercials. But the tired shtick is adopted to poorest taste by Dollar Shave Club:

Mike the White Male CEO: “We’re not just selling razors, we’re making jobs. Alejandra, what were you doing last month?”

Alejandra: “Not working.”

Mike the White Male CEO: “What are you doing now?”

Alejandra: “Working.”

Is it possible Alejandra is a real employee? Maybe. But I can’t be the only one spotting the insidious myth of minorities as lazy–as necessarily manual labor (Alejandra works in the warehouse)–as spoken to, not speaking.

 

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