I almost threw my beer bottle at the TV when I saw this commercial* during the Super Bowl last night.
The Go Daddy commercial made me angry because it is just another gratuitous example of the stereotype that “smart” people are white males and extremely uncool. Smart is not confined to gender or race. It is also not confined to any particular subject. But when we keep showing young people the same unappealing stereotype over and over again, I worry that this pushes people away from careers they care about and from being true to themselves.
I am also frustrated by the way commercials like this associate being smart (or being into science or computers) with being undesirable. That’s unfair to both women and men.
Yes, this is just one commercial. But the reason people understand the point of the commercial is because it is using deeply ingrained stereotypes. We need to move away from showing people who are intelligent or who work in science and technology fields as simply one type of person and instead empower all people to reach their full potential.
*Side note: In case you haven’t seen the commercial, I’m referring to a GoDaddy.com commercial where to illustrate the point that their website is both smart and sexy, they show a supermodel and a nerdy looking guy making out with each other. I’m not linking to it because I don’t think it needs more attention.