Beware, Ye Olde Deadly Makeup-Applying Woman Driver

kia embed finalPhoto: Via Buzzfeed.
Women. Can't live with 'em, can't trust 'em to drive a car without also trying to put lipstick on...right? Regardless of how often we're actually doing the admittedly totally dangerous activity of applying makeup while driving, we're right there with this Buzzfeed writer who expressed suspicion when a new rash of PSAs from KIA Canada popped up. The ads sternly say, "Applying makeup while driving can be deadly," with images of makeup as deadly weapons. It's kind of a downer. And, as the article points out, KIA Canada is only one of a recent string of similarly-themed PSAs targeting the makeup-applying lady driver, such as one from Mini Cooper that claimed, “Women cause 22% of all accidents.” (Actually, that stat sounds low to us if you compare it with how much of the population is female, but anyway.)
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Is this sexist? It's certainly suspicious, and the writer of the article explains why: "Having worked on a couple PSA campaigns in my previous ad agency life, I know how the process of producing PSAs often works. 1. The ad agency, hungry for ad awards, offers to produce the ad/spot/video for free. 2. The client, hungry for good press, accepts." Good to know. While we're all for safe driving, and KIA's heart is (maybe? hopefully?) in the right place, this is definitely sketchy.
Lest anyone think this philosophy is a new thing, consider the history of advertisements that stereotype women as dangerous drivers — like the 1960s Goodyear tires ad that claimed, "When a woman's at the wheel, Polyglas means more than mileage." What year is it, again? (Buzzfeed)
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