“We don’t need an age of women” Japanese commercial says, then hits actress in face with cream

“I am me” declares actress in video for department stores that’s sparking debate and controversy.

With December winding down and the new year on the way, jointly owned Japanese department store chains Seibu and Sogo released a new advertisement starring actress Sakura Ando. As you might expect for an ad first shown on December 31, the video takes some time to pontificate about the future, but what’s surprising is that it starts off with Ando boldly asking:

“We don’t need an Age of Women, do we?”

The camera then cuts from a close-up of Ando’s mouth to a shot of her back as she’s striding away…and then plates of whipped cream start flying at her.

As a couple of near-misses whiz past her, Ando continues her determined voice-over.

“Being forced to do something because you’re a woman.
Being ignored because you’re a woman.
Being marked down because you’re a woman.
Having the news talk about how difficult it is to live as a woman.
Every time those things happen, the ‘Age of Women’ gets pushed farther away.”

And then she takes a plate of cream full-on in the face.

Meanwhile, her narration goes on:

“’This year, finally, things are going to change!’
Really? Can we count on that happening?
‘Be active! Forge ahead!’
If you’re going to keep crowing about the ‘Age of Women,’ then we think it’s fine if it never comes.”

“At the center of this age, there are neither men nor women.
I want to praise myself for being me.
The age that should be coming, the age that we all make for ourselves, is the ‘Age of Me.’

After Ando coughs up a mouthful of forcefully inserted cream, she asks the camera “Don’t you get excited just thinking about it?”, before a final shot of her wiping cream from her eyes and delivering the ad’s tagline: “I am me.”

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