Getting burned by sunscreen

coppertone5.jpg

Somewhere, at this very moment in time, a dad is being treated differently simply because he’s a dad.

  • “It’s impressive how you brought the baby to the store all by yourself.”
  • You cooked that?  Your wife didn’t help you?”
  • That’s not how you fold the diaper.  Let me show you the right way.”
  • “Who ironed your shirt so nice for you?”

And now, apparently, you can add sunscreen to the list of things dads aren’t capable of handling.

Here we have another sexist ad from Coppertone, who negates dad as an equal parent.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Coppertone has pulled the dads-don’t-care-about-their-childrens’-skin stunt.  And just this past May we wrote about Aveeno Baby, who also doesn’t believe fathers are equal parents.

coppertone3.pngIf you follow the ad’s instructions and take time to visit coppertone.com, there you’ll find a scrolling slide titled “Family,” which continues the sexist notion that mom is in the parental lead.

Yet on its Facebook page, Coppertone makes the awkwardly contradictory pledge:  “Coppertone, part of Bayer, is committed to bringing families the promise of better suncare for better summers.”

So, Coppertone, is dad part of the family or not?

Rather than employing “Finding Dory” as its latest promotion, perhaps Coppertone should have used “Finding Dad.”

Coppertone deaf

We’re all in full summer mode, and that means spending more time outdoors. More time outdoors means we’re spending more time in the sun. More time in the sun means we’ll need sun protection.

As we do that, we reach for a brand we know and trust: Coppertone.

Coppertone’s name actually originated from its marketing, when in 1944, a pharmacist invented the lotion to darken tans (henceforth, a “copper”-colored skin “tone”). It really became famous in 1953 when the iconic Coppertone girl was created, whereby a dog pulls down her blue swimsuit and reveals her behind to have a lighter tone than the rest of her tiny body, all accompanied by the slogan, “Don’t be a paleface!”

If you think that slogan has an element of racist tinge, you are not mistaken. Coppertone’s original logo was the profile of an Indian chief. (Don’t feel too bad, Coppertone, you have company.)

Although it wasn’t a permanent fix at the time, at least Coppertone’s ancestors had the decency to lessen the nuances by replacing the Indian coppertonewith the girl. Eventually, the slogan was eliminated altogether, and even her “paleface” and bare bottom disappeared, too.

In later years, the Coppertone girl has been imitated, cartooned and parodied.

And somewhere along the way, I suspect someone – probably another pharmacist – realized darkening a tan isn’t the best thing for your health, so they developed a popular line of sunscreens to protect us. Coppertone was even named the #1 pediatrician recommended brand.

All seemed well in the slather-iffic world of Coppertone until their highly paid marketing geniuses decided to run an ad in the June 2014 American Baby magazine, and then let it fall into the hands of the dadmarketing headquarters.

Coppertone has a history of adapting with the times, but their latest magazine ad reeks of 1953. I love the opening two lines, “You want to let your kids be kids. But you still have to be the mom.”

Yep, if it weren’t for moms, kids would be dying of skin cancer everywhere because dads won’t do it; they’re lazy. That’s exactly the message Coppertone is sending, isn’t it?

But don’t take dadmarketing’s word for it, the rest of the world thinks dads are lazy, too. Go to Google Images and search “lazy.” You’ll find incessant pictures of men sleeping on couches, or watching TV.

Stereotypes die hard.

But then again, so does halfhearted, outdated, behind-the-times ad copy.

Now that’s what I call lazy.