The phrase “sexy Mr. Clean” is a phrase I’d never thought anyone would write, say, think up or draw up, but yet here we are.
There is a sexy Mr. Clean ad, everyone.
Take that in for a moment and then, watch the following video, which TV Line gets into a bit more detail on here. Be warned, however, your life will never be the same after viewing this commercial. And for that, I am sorry.
I know; you’re probably wholly creeped out, as you should. It’ll stick around for a while, too — that feeling that you’re currently feeling, I mean. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience, as well as two hours of shudders and mental complexities that have yet to figure things out after first seeing the animated and perfectly-molded booty clefts of Mr. Clean inviting housewives, desperate or otherwise, to his yard. Something else I sadly know? It won’t be the first time the bald icon rubs either of us this way.
Ew, phrasing. Sorry, guys.
Getting back to my point, what you’ve just unfortunately witnessed was a new ad campaign for Mr. Clean that will first run on television during Super Bowl LI (that’s 51 for those who aren’t fluent in Roman numeral) in February. And of course, that usually means it’ll also play during every other commercial break for the game, and every other commercial break throughout the remainder of 2017 for every TV program currently on-air.
A big Grey’s Anatomy shocker is about to unravel? Cut to break and here comes sexy Mr. Clean! Teen Mom 2 pauses for some messages right before a huge blow-up? Sexy Mr. Clean to the promotional rescue!
Get used to it folks! Mr. Clean is now here to change your mind about the way you get rid of grime in prime time, but not before he bumps and grinds in your direct eye line!
You’re either totally welcome or rightfully mad over that last statement, I’m sure.
Now before I get into this next thought, a moment of full disclosure: I’m a guy. A 100 percent, cisgender, red-blooded male, which means right off the bat, I know that “sexy Mr. Clean” is not meant for my enjoyment or in this case, disgust. Not that I don’t appreciate a good looking bald man with a nice butt (did I also mention I’m a red-blooded male who likes other red blooded males?), but in reality, the idea of the all-white outfitted, muscle-bulging, housework loving man isn’t usually targeted toward the majority of those who share my double X-chromosome makeup.
Which is why, for starters, the inclusion of a Mr. Clean during an event where most women are either slaving away in the kitchen for their man’s many football-loving friends or in their bedroom watching real life murder-porn TV marathons of Snapped or 48 Hours Investigates, is weird enough. But then again, there are some of the XY-variety who do enjoy the rough and tumble of helmet-covered brutes running pigskins across a field just as much as any guy, so it’s not just that aspect that’s a bit off to me.
There is also the incredibly obvious undertone, especially during the last few moments of the ad, that somehow, if men were to just do a little more of what they’re supposed to be doing in their shared home with their significant others, then they’ll be irresistible to their exhausted female partners and in response, they’ll get laid more, because men love the sex, y’all!
Mr. Clean’s Erotic Super Bowl Ad Makes Us Feel Really Uncomfortable https://t.co/QxA5jT399V— Eleanor Francisquite (@EleanorFrancisq) January 26, 2017
Let me tell you right now, that idea is so unbelievably both misogynous and misandrous, if it had a you-know-what, a certain you-know-who wouldn’t know to grab it or give it a fist bump.
Who in their right mind, in 2016; when the commercial was likely compiled, sat at a board meeting to work on the next round of Mr. Clean ads with their male and female co-workers, and offered up the following gem as a rational idea to promote their product?
“You know, guys, there’s got to be a way to get women back in the kitchen and behind a mop in a way that doesn’t seem degrading or demoralizing to who they are as women, while also helping men to see the spoils of putting out minimal effort. Oh, I got it, let’s make our animated mascot, whom some women and gay men already consider to be sexy, even sexier! Oh, yeah, you know they’ll be clawing their ways back into the house to scrub their lives away if a non-existent sexy man is drawing them to it!”
“And then,” they surely continued, “we can have him morph into some basic looking guy whom some chick would consider a “5” on a good day, would jump all over! Sex sells, after all!”
First off, how did they not get fired right there on the spot and then sent off to a white-padded room for evaluation? Secondly, it’s bad enough that just this past weekend, millions of women around the world were ruthlessly criticized in the media for owning their power at the start of a regime that is willingly trying to block part of that power.
To some, the thought of slightly altering the caricature of a ruggedly handsome older man who isn’t afraid of getting down and dirty with housework doesn’t equate to something that meaningful, but to me, I see the connection all too clear and unlike Britney Spears in 2001, I’m not even a girl or a woman.
It always starts small: a 30-second ad in 2017 during a mostly-male event that makes a joke out of a woman’s supposed place in the world. Making Mr. Clean sexy is anything but sexy. Problematic, sure, but absolutely not sexy. Let’s do better, humanity. I beg you.
Also, for the record, I have never found Mr. Clean to be sexy. The Jolly Green Giant, on the other hand? Now we’re talking.
[Featured Image by Rob Kim/Stringer/Getty Images]