The Royal Air Force gives a middle finger to female stereotypes in its new recruiting commercial

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No Room For Clichés. Royal Air Force Advert 2019.

The Royal Air Force gave a big 'ol middle finger to the tired stereotypes typically found in women-focused commercials in its new advertisement, and God is it good.


Cliché lines from cosmetic and feminine hygiene advertisements played over video of RAF women doing, well, their jobs.

"I want a lipgloss that can stay on, whatever life throws at me!" a cheerful voice says as a servicewomen throws herself to the ground and peers through the scope of a sniper rifle.

"All-day protection, now with wings, so I can do anything," an inspired woman remarks (seemingly about a tampon or pad product) as a female RAF pilot takes off.

The commercial was the winner of the UK's Channel 4's Diversity in Advertising Award, Marketing Week reports, which asked brands to "address female stereotypes, objectification and the sexualization of women." Channel 4's head of commercial marketing Matt Salmon told The Independent that the commercial "clearly illustrates the difference between how women are portrayed in advertising, compared to the realities of everyday life for a woman serving in the RAF."

How women are portrayed in advertisements has long been a point of discussion. A study released in 2017 that looked at commercials between 2006-2016 revealed that only one in four women in commercials were portrayed having a job, compared to one in three men, according to Ad Week. And, women were almost 50% more likely to be shown in the kitchen than men.

The RAF's commercial ends with the message, "Women should be defined by actions, not clichés."

Let's see more badass women doing badass jobs. The lipstick can wait.

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