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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

female gazing at: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like


Yes, the actor’s name is Isaiah Mustafa, and he is quite adorable as himself:

But it’s as The Man Your Man Could Smell Like in the brilliant Old Spice commercials that he makes us swoon. (Watch them on YouTube here and here. Watch them over and over again — you’ll want to, and not just because Mustafa is so cute and the commercials are so funny, but because they are also technically magnificent.)

He’s a man on a horse, who has two tickets to that thing you love.

What makes the ads so funny is that they embrace the idea of the female gaze while at the same time gently making fun of it, but not in any way that feels regressive. It’s not saying that women shouldn’t want to look: it’s saying that, hell yes, of course women look, but also that of course women recognize the fantasy of it. But that doesn’t make it any less fun.

Old Spice gets it:

We’re not saying this body wash will make your man smell into a romantic millionaire jet fighter pilot, but we are insinuating it.

Tee-hee.

I’m posting pictures like these every weekday, of a man who is attractive and desirable, because I like to look, dammit — and because the female gaze doesn’t have to be such serious business.

(If you have a suggestion for someone we should female-gaze at, feel free to email me with a name or a link to a particular photo.)



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  • JoshDM

    Your answering machine message could also be on a horse: http://oldspicevoicemail.com/

  • bronxbee

    just saw another one of his commercials the other night, with the picnic in a boat and the on again, off again, manly moustache. hilarious and adorable.

    Old Spice also had those very smart and silly commercials with Bruce Campbell. but those were more about mocking (and not so gently) the idea of the “playboy” ala hugh hefner.

    on the other hand, i always liked the ones with the seaman and his cap and seabag coming ashore too. and i still like the smell of Old Spice.

  • YES! He is why I ask my man to wear a towel =0)

  • Hee! And also, yum.

  • Anne-Kari Friedner

    Love him – LOVE. But let us not forget the awesomeness that was Neil Patrick Harris for Oldspice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TusJ8HSLaUs

  • vucubcaquix

    He also successfully proposed on someone’s behalf:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-fLV28SkZ8

  • Kate

    The tee-hee factor is a big reason why I find these ads so appealing. The guy doesn’t hurt either.

  • Shaun

    He also did a funny little spoof on The Dish where he was just as awesome with a low budget.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Vxuxzjdzk

  • Isaiah Mustafa is awesome. My girlfriend and I lost a lot of time this weekend watching dozens of his YouTube Twitter responses. Brilliant! I’m going to go buy some Old Spice Bodywash just to help make sure he gets more work!

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