Mar 7, 2018

Beefcake in Acne Commercials

You could call my high school years "The Clearasil" years.  I carried around a little tube of the sticky white glue-like stuff or the sulfer-smelling brown stuff. One whiff today will bring back a flood of memories.

Also insecurity.

Acne is a practically universal adolescence.  Everybody gets it.  But I  thought it was a rare anomaly.  I had no idea that everyone was carrying around a little tube of Clearasil.

We all thought if you got acne, it was your own fault, for not washing your face enough or eating too much junk food.

Nope -- nothing about your eating or washing habits can prevent it.

Media didn't help.  Commercials always made it seem that acne made you hideous, thus ruining your social life forever.

Like you'd really give this guy a pass due to his small blemish.

A and B are equally likely to draw teenage attention.  B may look a little better, but only because he's smiling.

Sorry, guys.  I can't hang out.  I'm too disgusted by the small red marks on your cheek and chin.

The commercials were very good at presenting a drop-dead gorgeous guy, and trying to tell us that before the application of Clearasil, he was repugnant.  This is Mark Ruffalo in his teen-dream days.

99% of the models in acne medication commercials were girls, working from the presumption that girls but not boys were obsessed by their appearance. But that 1% of boys provided some primo teenage beefcake for all of the 15 and 16-year old gay boys watching.

Especially since they were generally depicted applying the Clearasil in front of the mirror, shirtless.

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