The XX Factor

Farrah Creams the Menfolk, American Consumers

In the wake of Farrah Fawcett’s death this morning, thoughts turn to the superficial. Ellen has already focused on her hair-those “feathered bangs, feathered layers, feathers, feathers, feathers”-but what about her teeth? Those shiny, snow-white teeth? Or her endless, hairless legs? All of these assets were duly capitalized upon by America’s beauty product industry, leading to a few spectacular TV ads from the ‘70s.

In this one for Ultra-Brite toothpaste, Farrah sits on a lawn and innocently recites her mother’s advice-“sit up straight, eat all your vegetables, and stay out of small foreign cars”-before that sparkle in her eye turns mischevious and she turns to “Joey,” who we now see is lying beside her, and tells him that her mother never told her about Ultra-Brite. The scene ends with Joey escorting Farrah to his hot red car, and kissing her on the cheek; she winks, then flashes an ultra-bright smile that is clearly too sexy for her own good.

In this ad for Noxzema shaving cream, a mini-Farrah dances suggestively in a giant male palm. Someone sprays shaving cream into the palm as she writhes to the chorus, “Great balls of comfort!”

That’s downright tame, compared to this one, in which Farrah sings the jingle “Let Noxzema cream your face” while sensually applying shaving cream to NFL quarterback Joe Namath’s chin. This clip begins with the soon-to-be-creamed Namath creepily exclaiming, “I’m so excited! I’m gonna get creamed!” and ends with him telling Farrah, “You’ve got a great pair of hands.”

It’s ironic that, in a contemporary advertising world that equates sandwiches to blow jobs , this 30-year-old commercial would probably be too much for American consumers to handle. But then, there’s always been something about Farrah and her feathers …