Cover Girl Lash Blast

Please see our “About,” “Why Radfem?” and “The Gears” pages for additional information about this project.

Common themes represented here:

Normalize abuse/neglect.  Absolutely horrifying.  He lifts his hand to her, she sobs.  It doesn’t take a genius to fill in what happened in the middle.  It’s domestic-violence resistant mascara!  Dirty black goo that won’t run down your face no matter how much you cry.  Thanks, Cover Girl.  This commercial also illustrates the cycle of abuse perfectly:



Tags: , , ,

9 responses to “Cover Girl Lash Blast”

  1. witchwind says :

    This is awful.

    I’ve learnt that cycle of abuse too. I disagree with the reconciliation and honeymoon titles though. Giving excuses, denying the violence and blaming the victim is not reconcialition, because you can’t reconcile or negotiate with an abuser especially if you’re still under his hold. Reconciliation implies two equal, free and autonomous subjects finding a solution together, which isn’t accurate when applied to intimate male terrorism. I would simply call this part “reversal of responsibility after the violence”

    after the violence occured and the victim is blamed, it’s definitely not a calm honeymoon for the victim. For the victim, it’s terror. Terror that he might burst again, terror of doing something wrong, terror of his snide, demeaning remarks, terror of him being cold or distant. She will do everything to avoid that bit of violence coming back again, to please her abuser. The only honeymoon is for the abuser, because once his victim is under terror it’s much easier for him to get her do what he wants her to do (service him sexually, do the domestic and emotional work, raise kids, etc). During this period he will also pretend to be nice (buy flowers, presents) to further activate the stockholm syndrome so that the victim feels grateful for her abuser and believes she owes him her life.

  2. FCM says :

    yes! you are correct that the titles do not match womens reality — yes. interestingly, this commercial illustrates the male/abusers reality or the traditional version/representation of the cycles. in the commercial, the reconciliation is real, the calm is real. the commercial and the chart are done from mens perspective as the perpetrators of domestic violence, or the male violence/DV apologists who created the titles and described them as being anything less than terrorism, or domestic terrorism. good catch!

  3. witchwind says :

    Lol looking at the first two I realise the titles aren’t much better either.

    “Tension builds… tension increases, victim becomes fearful, breakdown of communication”.
    Seems like it’s all building up all by itself, like the victim becomes fearful for no reason, where’s the abuser gone? The subject of the violence is completely masked.

    Same with the next one:
    “The incident”

    Incident?? Since when is violence with the aim and intent to destroy the other is an INCIDENT??? Dequalifying crimes in this way is participating in them and protecting the abuser. Again, complete failure to name the agent, the violence seems to happen by its own, like the violence just exists, nobody’s doing it.

  4. FCM says :

    “tension” is almost always read as sexual tension too, or physical sexual or even non-sexual tension that is to be relieved with an orgasm (like a tension headache) and thats what it is in this ad. when talking about DV, its not made to seem like the sort of tension that a hostage would feel if they were at the bank when it was being robbed; its made to seem like something else. the kind thats in this commercial, in fact. tension indeed! if there is language to describe this from a womans perspective, its never used, but i dont think there is language to describe it. terror and domestic terrorism is the closest thing to being the truth, but even thats way, way off isnt it?

    the entire “cycle” is also similar to the arousal/resolution cycle of SEX. sexy.

  5. FCM says :

    u want to make a better chart WW? 🙂 your titles are way better, and we need an alternative to the DV chart thats out there now.

  6. witchwind says :

    Ok I can do that for tomorrow if you like!

  7. FCM says :

    great! thanks

  8. cc5050m says :

    Isn’t Ellen a spokeswoman/model for Cover Girl? Has she said anything about this?

  9. witchwind says :

    Hey, sorry for delay, here’s my version of intimate male violence cycle (didn’t have the time to put it in a diagram).

    Phase 1: He isolates the victim
    The abuser always selects who will be his victim. He must get the victim near to him so he can put her under captivity. For this he will lure the victim by various means (in the case of “classic” intimate male violence, this usually takes the form of buying presents, drinks, flowers, pretending to pay attention to the victim’s needs, complimenting her efforts in complying to femininity, making false promises of love, etc).
    His priority is then to isalote her geographically, socially, professionnally and from her family, friends and social activities, so that the victim will have no other recourse for her survival but him, so to cut her away from any autonomy or independence she may have had, the people that might help her and the things she enjoys.

    Phase 2: He destroys the victim’s sense of self
    The abuser will do everything to weaken the victim’s ability to resist by humiliating, criticising, demeaning, mocking, insulting, objectifying, gaslighting her and making her believe she’s nothing without him.
    With the following consequences:
    – She will lose her self-esteem and sense of worth
    – She won’t resist and won’t dare to leave him.

    Phase 3: He installs a climate of fear, terror and insecurity
    He presents himself as all-powerful.
    He threatens the victim and puts some of the threats into effect, for instance by organising reprisal against herself and her relatives, domestic animals…
    The victim will live in a constant situation fear and insecurity (that he will leave, or that he will be violent again, or that he’ll blackmail her emotionnally) so she will do everthing possible to please her abuser to avoid further reprisal.

    Phase 4: He reverts responsibility for the violence
    He transfers responsibility and guilt onto the victim.
    He denies any responsibility for his use of violence, and blames the victim:
    “She provoked it, she wanted it, she made me angry, I was tired and she nagged me, I’m the victim”
    He maintains confusion and fosters trauma bonding by regularly contrasting attitudes and alternating between periods of reprieve (he says sorry, he cries, he shows acts of kindness) and periods of reprisal, anger or sadistic coldness/distance.

    Phase 5: He ensures his impunity
    He recruits allies (he’s the nicest doctor, the friendliest neighbour, the loveliest colleague) and organises a coalition against the weak.
    He drags the victim into complicity by involving the victim in the sequence of events (he offers her something, he asks help, or affords to help – so she “consented and participated”).
    He blackmails the victim into silence to make sure she will keep it secret.