After the jump, Girl on Top explains precisely why Dallas-based Match.com is a sexist, clueless, women-hating bastion of evilness. Frankly, we think she's just PMSing.
Is your hair shiny enough? Are you too loud? Too quiet? Are men turned off by short hair? Do you wear the right lipstick? What if you don't know 781,653,856 "Moves That Make Him Go OOOOH" in the bedroom? Are you about to effing lose your mind?
If you've been asked any of these questions recently (and you paid attention when they were being asked) chances are you are about to effing lose your mind, because you're a woman who reads advertisements directed towards women and who reads women's magazines (things I consider to be one and the same, with one notable exception.)
If you're not feeling bad enough about yourself this morning, it's because you haven't consumed enough female-targeted media just yet. Pick up any Cosmo and do a compare/contrast with Maxim. The main idea of Cosmo? How to please your man (or how to please yourself by getting a man.) The main idea of Maxim? Women please us, and here are some dick jokes. Also, titties!
And so when I logged out of MySpace this morning, I took note of an ad from one of our prestigious Dallas-based online dating sites, Match.com. The ad asked, "Is he cool with you borrowing his clothes?" And it had a cute little graphic of a Barbie-shaped girl switching from camisole to baggy T-shirt. I reloaded the page. This time it showed a pretty white girl with big lips kissing a guy on the cheek. It read: "The first move: how do guys feel when you make it?"
Let's forget about what the ads are saying about the type of women who get men -- young, white, thin -- and focus on what the ads are saying to women: HOLYCRAP WHAT IF YOU'RE NOT PERFECT HOLYSHIT DON'T DO THE WRONG THING WHAT IF YOU KISS HIM OR TAKE HIS SHIRT HE MIGHT DUMP YOU HOLYGOD! Let us all run to the experts at Match.com, who have surveyed thousands of guys who've signed up to meet strangers online -- the exact group I'd pick if I wanted a reliable sample of reasonable, sane dudes -- where we can learn exactly who we should force ourselves to be so that we may have a relationship.
From here, two problems. One, the ads are misleading. If you click on them, they just take you to Match.com, where if you want to get inside for answers, you must sign away the firstborn you're never going to have because you're never going to get laid again because you wore a guy's T-shirt, you clueless bitch. So anyone who read the ad and is now desperate to know if kissing a guy is going to eliminate her chances of becoming his girlfriend (love that logic) can't actually find out the answer.
Second: similar male-targeted ads do not appear if you log out of a male account. I know this because, as I have no hope of ever getting laid myself, two years ago I created a MySpace account for my cat. For all the ad 'bots at MySpace know, he's a 24-year-old male in Dallas, TX. And reload as I might, I never got a Match.com ad asking, "Women: What do they think of your beer belly?" or, "Foreplay: You've got a hard-on, what the hell else does she want?" Oh, I got ads about credit scores, Vans shoes and even MAC makeup, but it doesn't look like Match took the time to try to similarly freak men out about their perceived, probably self-imposed shortcomings. Here's a tip, ladies: Want to know if your love interest cares if you wear his shirt or kiss him first? Freaking ask him.
The next question, of course, is why? Why you're-not-good-enough ads for women, and not men? I think here I would like to insert a tirade about how women have been socially engineered to second-guess themselves and they therefore respond to ads that freak them out. Men? Not so much. No point in making ads that don't get the attention of the target audience. But I have a limited tirading-before-noon policy, and certain women can make a better argument there than I can, anyway. (And yeah, I e-mailed the PR flaks at Match to get the official perspective, but they haven't gotten back to me yet, and this thing was long enough already. I'll be sure to let you know what they say, if they respond.) --Andrea Grimes