However, I admit that sometimes I'm a Walmartian, the same as everyone else. Even though I find shopping at Walmart singularly unsatisfying. A recent trip to buy new drapes fo my office ended in deep frustration...and a trip to Big K. But, that's another sad story.
What I'm writing about today is Walmart's latest commercial: How Lovely to Be a Woman, where we see all manner of female beautitude...applying make-up and lotion and face creme. In the background, a woman's voice sings the Bye-Bye Birdie, Ann Margret tune, "How Lovely to Be a Woman."
For the too young to know what I'm talking about, Ann Margret was THE Beyonce of MY time, and Bye Bye Birdie was a rockstar of a hit, back when I was a teen. You can see how prudish we were in the YouTube video when Ann changes her blouse by throwing on a big sweatshirt - heaven forbid we see her in her underclothes! (two-piece bathing suits were allowed - but they did not reveal cleavage nor belly-buttons!)
I reluctantly admit that Walmart hits the nail on the head with this commercial. No, it doesn't inspire me to run out to Walmart to buy my make-up or body lotion - but when this commercial comes on, it creates such a rush of nostaglia, I cannot turn it off. I sit mesmerized, with a little smile on my face, remembering the movie and the fun of those long ago teen days (that really weren't so much fun, honestly). Part of me wonders if the creators of this bit of nostalgia did it on purpose - or if they just got lucky?
The women in the commercial are of all ages and sizes and nationalities. They're representative of women everywhere - women who care about their skin and their self-esteem and their presence in the world. I relate to those women, and I enjoy the song coming through in the background. The commercial literally takes me back to a less complicated time - and I don't remember the challenges of the day. Instead, I remember all the parts of becoming a woman that Ann Margret sings about - "How lovely to have a figure that's round instead of flat..." "To go to a fancy nightclub, and stay out after ten." These are universal rights of passage - and they likely appeal to young woman, even today. Becoming a woman isn't part of a complicated rite or ritual...it's something that happens within, and the commercial conveys it in the subtle sound of that song coming through, as women that could be you or me do the things women do - in their bathroom, in front of the mirror. Correct me, if I'm wrong.
Kudos to Walmart for jumping on the Dove bandwagon. Now, if only I actually trusted them enough to buy products at their store.
Here's to the loveliness of being a woman: here's to me and you - and every young woman approaching puberty today - with and without the help of Walmart.