Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bear Offers Survival Wear for Men - Autographs for Women

The face of survival. No girls allowed.

Bear Grylls, for those who don't know him by name or reputation, is the host of "Man vs Wild". He's a former British SAS dude (who had to quit after three years because he broke his back in a parachuting accident) who has become the pop culture face of wilderness survival.

His show has had some flack for being "faked". Yes, there is a camera crew with him at all times. Yes, they scout out the best locations in the area to illustrate various techniques rather than Bear just finding his way out blind. Yes, he's probably not in any real danger during the taping of the shows. It's TV folks. Nobody said stuff on TV really happens the way they show it. If you're entertained, and understand that you shouldn't try most of this stuff if you really are lost, then he has done his job.

As you can see, I find his actions on TV somewhat misleading but defensible. What has really hacked me off though is his new online shop, The Bear Grylls Store. First, there's the tacky factor of a "survival expert" selling outdoor wear of no particularly impressive design. But hey, he's found a way to make some extra cash lending his name to it, so why not.

The problem comes in when you have a browse through the products on offer. For men, there is a range of shirts, fleeces, trousers, jackets etc. Not bad. Then you click on "Women's" clothing. What can the adventurous woman buy from Bear? A t-shirt or a hoodie with his autograph printed across the front! Nothing else. No useful products at all. Apparently survival is not the feminine thing to do. If lost in the wilderness, we should just curl up in a ball and hope that a man (who has been watch Bear on TV) comes to the rescue.

I think it's quite likely that Bear himself has little to do with the shop or what it sells. But when your name is on something, you should be aware of it and make sure it won't come back to bite you in the ass. Bear, if you're out there, fix your shop!

1 comment:

Ron Bloomquist said...

Well said!