This didn’t actually happen in September.....but we feel that we can’t let it pass without comment. Back in March, The Euros wrote a joint letter with Die Euros and Europe&Me to the European Commission expressing our disappointment with a video that they had released to promote expansion. We are sorry to have to report that over the summer, yet another ridiculous video released by the Commission came to our attention.
This particular faux pas was called “Science : it’a girl thing !” and was released with the aim of encouraging women into the male-dominated fields of science and technology. An honourable ambition. So what exactly is wrong with it ?
The video starts with a male scientist in the lab, looking up in surprise as three skimpily dressed female models in high heels strut towards him. There then follows a sequence of scientific images, such as bubbling test tubes and formulae, interspersed with images of “things that girls like”, including make-up, sunglasses and nauseating amounts of the colour pink. Meanwhile, our heroines pout, giggle and blow kisses for the camera. Then, at the end, they swap their sunglasses for safety goggle. Cute.
The video on YouTube currently has 1,352 likes....and 9,124 dislikes. It is described variouly as “sexist”, “offensive”, “hilariously ineffectual” and “garbage” by posters. One commenter, Nikoincroatia, just about sums it up when she says “as a woman, what the f**k is this ?”
To be fair, you can see what they were trying to do. They were attempting to attract the attention of young women by depicting things they believe to be interesting to this age group. But where did they get their inspiration ? Legally Blonde ? This doesn’t inspire women - it stereotypes and patronises them. Look ! Science is easy ! It’s about make-up and pink ! Anyone can do it !
As we said back in March, the EU should use advertising to reach out to young people. But clearly they need a better ideas team. Maybe we can suggest that next time, they make a clever, funny video that will attract the attention of all those clever, funny women out there that might be interested in becoming scientists ?
Photo : © European Union, 2012