This Isn’t An April Fool’s Joke, But It Should Be

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 5:22 pm

Margaret got hold of a new catalog of scrubs somewhere and was leafing through it at the dining room table the other day. In case you have been asleep for the last twenty years or so, scrubs–the ubiquitous shirt-and-pants ensembles worn by doctors, nurses, dental hygienists and most other non-administrative folks affiliated with health care–are now available in a staggering array of colors, patterns, cuts and styles. I myself have a royal blue scrub shirt covered in brightly-hued poison dart frogs that I love. (The scrub shirt, that is, but also poison dart frogs. They’re just adorable.) Scrubs are comfortable, durable and easy to clean. I don’t think there’s a single person who wears scrubs at work who doesn’t also wear them outside of work at least part of the time. And the industry has responded to this sentiment, marketing an ever-expanding line of these useful, utilitarian duds.

Did someone say “marketing”?


Um, okay, so I’m fully aware that the style and visual semantics of pornography have become totally embedded in the rest of our culture and particularly our advertising, but come on. (Hmmm….on second thought, change that to “give me a break”. No, no, I retract the suggestion, keep it as is. Namely, a come on. [No, the noun phrase, not the verb. Jeez, get a grip. {!}]) This thing looks like it was cribbed directly from the Vivid Video catalog; the wind-tousled hair, the hand on the shoulder, the come-hither looks on the models’ faces….it looks like the jacket for a DVD called “Right Away, Doctor”.

Heck, just the fact that there are two women on the cover and no men. This company does sell scrubs for men too, in case you were wondering.

I’m not offended by this catalog cover by any means. I don’t care either way. But as someone who makes catalogs for a living, I have to question its effectiveness. It may stir up some initial interest, but after the brief soft-core biracial lesbian nurse porn thing fizzles out on page 1, you’re still left with a kind of, “What the heck was that all about?” taste in your mouth.

Frankly, there are some things I’d rather not have advertisers incessantly try to associate with sex. Drain cleaners. Cold remedies. Firearms. To this woefully incomplete list, despite any residual “Naughty Nurse” undertone, I would include the commodity of health care. I think health care in this country is–ahem–fucked up enough as it is. 😛

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