Incidental Urban Anthropology #001
what/ Lynx ‘Anarchy For Her’ Deodorant Bodyspray
where/ Coles supermarket, Johnston St Fitzroy, Melbourne
when/ May 2014
You've got to feel for cosmetic corporations, it's a highly saturated market where product differentiation is increasingly tough. So what do you do when you've already tried everything, from comedic misogyny to affirmative body-image cheerleading?
Obviously you recruit Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin in a perspiration quelling, pleasant smelling critique of the State.
Shopping for groceries I spied Lynx's ‘Anarchy For Her’ Deodorant Bodyspray.
The pink stencilled typography perhaps suggests a siding with the historical tradition of individualist anarchism over anarchism's social school of thought, the pyramidically stacked letterforms a sly incrimination of the state's structural inequality and moral illegitimacy.
Is it evoking Max Stirner's egoist anarchism where the only limitation on the rights of the individual is their power to obtain what they desire without regard for morality? Sounding suspiciously like Margaret Thatcher, is Unilever's bodyspray arguing that society itself is merely a ‘spook in the mind’?
Does the product's pointed gender specificity explain the mobs of revolutionary women hunting the reactionary bourgeois male in Lynx's past propaganda?
More urgent than these questions is of course the mystery of Anarchy's aroma. Alas here it was returned to the shelf unsmelled. But the issue persists – does Unilever intend to stock our shelves with other ideologies, and what of their scents and sweat-censoring capacities?
What would ‘Communism’ or ‘Revolutionary Socialism’ smell like? And is ‘Social Democracy’, ‘Fascism’ or ‘Zionism’ vying for the Christmas release?
At any rate, no need for ‘Neo-Liberal Capitalism’ because almost everything stinks of that already.