essays

THE MILF MANIFESTO

A deconstruction of two 30-second, back-to-back commercials aired in the spring of 2010

In a tight tracking shot, a pair of shapely bare legs clad in red patent-leather high-heeled pumps clicks along an urban sidewalk at a brisk pace. The shoes are the bright, liquid red of newly-applied expensive lipstick and hold just as much sexual promise. As the camera angle widens, however, it encompasses another pair of feet: first the running sneakers, then the gangly legs of a young boy.

Ah. She is a mother, and on her way to forty.

As the child darts around her confident long stride, the ever-widening shot presents them as a unified front, laughing gaily as they playfully negotiate their way down a commercial thoroughfare. The dark-haired beauty doesn’t wear the double-knit sportswear “mom” uniform to which we have grown visually accustomed, but rather a stylish trench coat, tightly cinched at a trim waist, and sufficiently buttoned as to reveal nothing of what hides beneath. She could easily be nude under there, or resplendent in hot pink silk lingerie. The mystery is deliberate, her ews/">newibebroadcamuch s” pryse. fAs the a motherANIF

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