Take a look at what I saw when I went to log in:
The featured profile, "Anything But Cute" is anything but an actual MySpace profile. IT IS AN ADVERTISEMENT DRESSED UP AS A MYSPACE PROFILE. Now, you might say, of course it is - who puts a picture of a car in their profile? (And of course I recognized the slogan "Anything But Cute" from the Dodge Caliber "fairy" ads so widely criticized by the gay community.)
But the problem is not that this is just another of the many ads on MySpace; the problem is that this "profile" is not labeled as an ad. Rather, Dodge is banking on the fact that people (read: teens) won't remember where they've heard that phrase and won't pay attention to the car but look at the cute cartoon pig instead. I admit, the reason I clicked (beyond my shock at the thought that MySpace had completely sold out) is because my friend Jiwon has a similar cute pink cartoon pig that dances around on her profile page.
Now take a look at what you see if you click into the "Anything But Cute" profile:
Pig and Bear. Pig and Bear? What is this, an episode of Nijntje? No - this is a clever way for Dodge to disguise the fact that they are trying to sell cars to kids who like Hello Kitty. (And I should know, since my first car - the one I bought when I was 23 and am still driving - is a purple Dodge Neon.) There are little videos on the site (that I didn't play) and the whole thing is wrapped up in smiles and flowers.
What I think is odd is that I got accused of being a corporation on MySpace not that long ago. My friend John balked at the friend request I sent him from my Pretzel Fan profile in which my hubby and I openly praise (sans pay) Snyder's pretzels, thinking we were in fact Snyder's pretzels. Little did I know his fears would come true in just a few months.
The worst part of all this is, even though I hate what MySpace is doing, I'm not sure I have the balls to delete my profile. Part of me thinks, but where will "the fans" turn? It's not like I have a website or blog that they can turn to.
But I do. And so I have to think seriously about this. Lose all of the 400-something "friends" I've gained - or lose my morals?