Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Type of Guy You'd Bring Home to Mama

I'm not usually one to watch the Super Bowl (Didn't the Lakers beat the Yankees this year?), not even for the commercials. This one came to my attention, though, and I wanted to give it a shout-out from both feminist and pro-diversity perspectives:

First, I love Amy Poehler. I love her humor, I love her smarts. Like Tina Fey, I love her attractive-but-normal non-megawatt glam. I don't love Best Buy, generally (just ask me what they did with Brendan's computer that one time...go ahead, ask), but I love that they chose her as a brand representative and not, say, Busty LaRoux or whatever Hollywood's sexy new ingenue is named. If I met Amy Poehler in real life, after every woman part in my body exploded with happiness, I'd probably just really like her and want to hang out with her, to the point where that might almost be creepy.

I also love that the Best Buy guy is a cute Asian dude who is clearly being flirted with. It's starting to erode - finally - but there are still too many stereotypes of Asian guys being, well, nerds, geeks, scrawny dudes, Mama's Boys, funny or comical even when doing martial arts, and they never, ever get the girl. As Slate notes, in an action movie with a male and female lead, in which the man is white (it doesn't matter what ethnicity the woman is as long as she's super hot), the hero always gets the girl. Not so with the Asian hero: since when has Jacky Chan gotten any? And there's "Romeo Must Die", in which Jet Li doesn't get Aliyah.

So, it's a small thing, but this commercial, seen by millions and garnering critical acclaim (I haven't heard a bad thing about it yet beyond "but...Best Buy sucks!") in which a pretty woman shamelessly flirts with an Asian guy - an attractive Asian guy, not a super-thin dweeb or klutzy kung fu guy, but the kind of guy you'd bring home to Mama - is a step in the right direction. A conscious, but not self-conscious, step.

And it makes me love Amy Poehler even more.

And maybe hate Best Buy a tiny bit less.

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