How far can the right uniform take your child?CTA transit ad
This is another ad that appears on CTA buses. It promotes a school uniform supplier and shows two boys and a girl dressed in dark business suits, all looking like they are about to step into the final Enron board meeting. Each child’s expression, no doubt intended to appear serious or adult (suited to a board meeting), is grim. They look like they’ve just been told they will never be allowed ice cream again.
Here are the messages, intended and unintended:
- Success is achieved only in business because that is the source of money and power. That is what you should want for your child — money and power. Tweed-clad professors, scuba-tanked marine biologists, paint-splattered artists, hard-hatted electrical engineers, T-shirtted computer programmers — yes, all these people may be accomplished and recognised in their fields and may even be enthusiastic and happy. But they’ll never wear the uniform, the power suit, that symbolises true success.
- As a responsible parent, you want your child to be successful. So you will buy the correct uniform for your child so that he or she will sport the correct uniform as an adult.
- You do want your children to wear a uniform. Otherwise, that worst threat to society might assert itself — individualism.
- Playful, happy, imagination-filled childhoods are for losers. A uniformed, grim child today means a uniformed, grim, and successful executive tomorrow.
After all, you really don’t want your grandchildren to be raised by anyone as useless as a marine biologist, do you?