Tuesday, August 02, 2005

If this is what fat looks like, we're all in trouble.

Milbarge points out this article in Slate regarding the new Dove ad campaign featuring real women with real curves.

I have to go to work early today so here are some quick thoughts.

The author gives the campaign a short-term grade of "A" but a long-term grade of "D" because, HE points out, people will start to think of Dove as the brand for "fat girls." Milbarge points out that the author actually really likes the campaign...but I'm not entirely sure that's true -- I sense a lot of judgment.

1. These ads are on every bus stop on my way to work, so I pass by no less than five or six of them every morning and evening.

2. The girls are lovely and smiling -- for once a model that doesn't look like she's hiding in a closet after being gang-raped...gosh, we wouldn't want to encourage that!

3. The girls in the ads are sizes 4-12. The average American woman wears a size 16. Pretty much every real woman I know over the age of about 20 is not a size 0 and is not 12 feet tall weighing in at 13.2 pounds, so, I'm not sure how these women are representing "fat" women -- size when is a size 4 fat? A size 8? Even a size 12?

4. The author of the article says that "These Dove ads say it's cool to be round and hefty … so long as your skin is taut and firm and perfect" and points out that if the ads are aiming for true body acceptance they wouldn't still be trying to sell firming creme. OK, I guess there's a point there. But none of the girls in the ad are hefty really! I mean, by the standards of some men who unrealistically expect to only date, or see naked, women who are tiny -- which is, by the way, a small portion of the female population overrepresented in fashion magazines and ad campaigns -- these women might be larger than what those men are used to seeing or thinking about. But none of them are fat. None of them are obese and they all look healthy and pretty and happy.

I'm not going to buy Dove's skin creme because, frankly, I just don't buy shit like that. BUT, I like the ad and I appreciate that they aren't emaciated and that they probably eat with their friends, and laugh over dessert, and have a glass of wine or a beer when they go out. Some of them might even eat CARBS! And maybe they don't have to smoke and do cocaine to keep their weight down -- thereby making them somewhat chubbier than what some men might appreciate in a date, but also less likely to fly off into a rage when someone accidentally puts a lemon in their water and then ingest an entire 3 calories in ONE DAY! I don't know, some women are naturally thin and their bodies are meant to be that way and I think that's great -- but some women aren't and I like that there is an ad campaign, even though it's trying to sell me firming creme, that focuses on the rest of us -- the dreaded other 90% of the world...the NON-MODELS...women who dare to have breasts and hips and thighs -- NOOOOOOO.

Anyway, I like the ads, I think the author is kind of snide, and I especially think his little comment that when you see the ads, OH YOU'LL KNOW who the size 12 is, deserves a smack-down.
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