The jeans that fit everybody because they fit nobody
Saturday Night Live is not known to shy away from the tough topics. Whether it?s the Presidential elections or recreational drug use, the SNL cast will find some way to approach hard hitting issues with their usual satirical style. This is why I was unsurprised when in the first episode of their 43rd season SNL decided to take a swing at the millennials and the fashion industry all wrapped into one hilarious ?commercial.?
The sketch starts out like many modern commercials do by displaying some of the many ?labels? placed on people by society. People describe how their jeans label them things such as: relaxed, skinny, man, woman, or child. Before celebrity Ryan Gosling appears along with the hashtag #YDKMJ or You Don?t Know Me Jeans.
The outraged group of individuals go on to say how they are not a style or a size, they are unique and individual. They?re Woke. So, why aren?t their jeans? Introducing the solution to this common everyday problem, the new Levi?s. Self-described as style-neutral, gender nonconforming denim for the generation that defies labels.
These jeans no longer come in ?sizes?, because that can be very triggering for some people and there are more important characteristics about a person than just their size. New Levi Wokes fit everybody. Offended by your jeans? style trying to label you? No longer an issue because these jeans have no style.
But the best part about these jeans is that they solve the most offensive part about clothing. Colors. Color is a very triggering topic for most of the country so in order to avoid that, the color of Wokes, Greb, is an indistinguishable blend of every color, none of which are dominant.
These jeans also solve problems for those who identify as any gender. By implementing the new Uni-Fly Levi?s now let you decide how you go to the bathroom with 180 of gender non-conformity.
The sketch is hilarious in its absurdity. These jeans, an apparent combination of hammer pants, mom jeans, and khaki?s, have got to be the most hideous thing anyone has tried to market since the 80?s. No one in their right minds would ever wear these pants in public in such a digital age. In a world where everything you do is made public on a mass scale, these jeans would never be accepted by anyone, and that?s the point the clip is trying to make. In an effort to avoid making anyone upset, they?ve ruined something that didn?t need to be fixed.
In the current political environment it?s almost impossible to label anything without being called out for offending some group. Even if those labels are taken completely out of context. This serves as the premise for the entire joke. The seemingly innocuous labels given to different styles of jeans have been twisted into negative, defining terms that people are outraged about. The seemingly innocent terms such as: relaxed, child, man, woman, or even boyfriend have been twisted to seem as if the fashion industry is trying to force people to be the type of jeans that they wear.
For many people the solution is just to avoid using certain phrases and terms in order to avoid offending people and err on the side of political correctness. The SNL sketch shows an extreme case of an effort to do exactly that. In the words of the sketch ?Levi?s heard if you?re not woke, it?s bad?. To avoid judging people based on their style, the new Levi?s have no style. To avoid offending people by making them fit a certain size, Wokes are completely sizeless. ?They fit EVERYbody, because they fit NObody?.
The entire cast of this fake commercial is made up of young, hip looking people who would be classified as millennials. Millennials have become somewhat of a hot button topic in the comedy world. Known for their outlandish and somewhat ridiculous expectations of the world, including them in a joke basically guarantees success. Their inclusion in SNL?s sketch only serves to make the point more hilarious because these jeans are a product that would totally be accepted by the more eccentric millennials. SNL reinforces the jeans? connection to millennials with the use of hashtags and acronyms commonly used on social media. The further and further the sketch takes it with the justification just makes the whole thing more absurd.
The sketch has been filmed in black and white to make the differences between the actors minimal. This also makes the audience pay more attention to their words instead of their outward appearance. Filming in black and white also brings more attention to the color of the pants as they are the only thing to appear in color. Namely for the sole purpose to display how ugly the color created is in an effort to not be any defined color. The black and white backdrop also makes the words flashing on the screen to reinforce keywords even more effective because the white text really stands out. The commercial also makes use of upbeat music and splicing to keep the plot moving along.
While the commercial is a huge slap in the face to millennial attitudes and expectations, it also makes many comments about the current political issues. While bringing up the fact that the jeans are an indistinguishable color the following comment is made:
?It?s a handful of colors, none of which are dominant, just like our country?OH WAIT!?
This is a blatant jab at the current issue of racism running rampant in our country. By placing this line in the middle of what is an otherwise ridiculous commercial SNL proves yet again that they can tackle any subject. Whereas when many comedians bring up racism the joke falls flat, SNL manages to seamlessly incorporate major issues into seemingly innocent satirical piece without compromising the integrity of the joke. The word choice involved in calling the jeans ?Wokes? is interesting. One has to question whether or not the SNL writers took into account the fact that, while the term ?woke? has been used as a slang term since the 1960?s, it only very recently became popular with its connection to the Black Lives Matter Movement. And if they did this knowingly, is it not a bit insensitive to connect the word to such a farcical take on political correctness.
The entire purpose of this sketch is to show how completely ridiculous the world has become. What started off as a good thing, treating others with more respect by being mindful of the effects our words can have, has been blown completely out of proportion. Now you can?t even call the style of your jeans ?skinny? without insulting someone who has struggled with weight issues. The most hilarious thing about this sketch is that it?s not much of a stretch from our reality. These jeans could actually be in our future and that in and of itself makes me want to die of embarrassment and at the same time laugh at what is to come.