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duluth trading company – “doll” commercial

This 2015 advertisement for working wear clothing retailer Duluth Trading Company features Nora, a rancher, performing her everyday work and activities while a voiceover states, “I’m not some doll with pretty blue eyes, shining blond hair, and cute little everything. And a perfect car, and a perfect house, and a perfect blouse. Nope, I’m no doll. Just like he’s no pretty little pony.” With each statement, Nora is shown demonstrating a rancher’s version of these stereotypically valued feminine traits, such as removing work goggles over her blue eyes, wearing the company’s clothing and work gloves while loading up a pickup truck with lumber, decorating the ranch house with a head of antlers, chopping down a tree with an axe, carrying barbed wire, and working with her horse. The ad ends with the message, “Duluth Trading. Highly capable clothing.”


How does this advertisement challenge stereotypical representations of gender and femininity?

What characteristics are associated with dolls? What does it mean when people refer to women or girls as dolls? Do dolls speak? What are dolls valued for?

How does this clothing commercial differ from other clothing company commercials? What is the distinction this company is making between their “highly capable clothing” versus other kinds of clothing?

Why is it important to have visibility in popular culture, including in advertisements and commercials, of girls and women doing a variety of different activities and in a range of occupations?

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