H&M call all of their current and past models to do un-lady like things to the song "She's a lady" with varying degrees of success. Your hair can be a fabulous afro like Jillian Hervey's or shaved down to just a stubble, but you're still a lady. You can wear black lipstick, but you're still a lady. You can flaunt your unshaven armpits, but you're still a lady... You can pick your teeth at the table while mirroring yourself in the knife, and wave cutlery at other people when you talk at the table - okay hold up H&M, just stop trying to make bad manners part of the definition of "lady." The fact that they show a young girl watching them as if she's being inspired, doesn't help. Everyone hates bratty kids, and trying to rear a child with manners when they are surrounded by people who lack them is a herculean task.
Some of the vignettes work, but most fail. Displaying her boredom at a cocktail party, Lauren Hutton looks almost like she has a stroke instead. Following a plus sized model as she walks into her bathroom wearing only underwear feels like the oogling butt-shot seen in this girl can. A model "manspreading" on the subway just makes me unconsciously cross my legs to protect myself. Hari Nef is walking through NYC with an umbrella wearing a silk bomber, the twist there is that Nef is transgender as the song sings "she's a lady." Some of the shots do work however, boxer Fatima Pinto checks out her arms before entering the party - taking pride in her well trained physique, a look which used to be considered unladylike. Pum Lefebure marches into a boardroom and drops files on the table to "she always knows her place", which is spot on, but feels like something you'd see in a 1980s Charlie advert. Are we still shocked that women work? Some of the shots are just classic fashion, such as when Adwoa Aboah walks wearing a knitted sweater. A model unzips her pants before pretending to eat fries. Ladies don't eat fries? Naughty girls dive into pools with their clothes on, and kiss underwater - and this is where it all starts to feel like they were doing a visual bingo of social issues today. H&M now hope that you will tweet things under the #ladylike tag on twitter, I predict nose-picking selfies will trend soon.
In the end the only thing I want after watching this ad is Jillian Hervey's hair. That afro is amazing.