Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dove Ads

The Dove ads were out when I was in London. It was always more than a little depressing to see the comments people would scrawl on them in the tube station. In Los Angeles one of the advertising gimmicks are postcards in trendy neighborhoods of various products or Indy movies. My friend Joe cleaned them out of the Stacy postcard and said, "She is my new dream girl." Seth Stevenson in his Slate article on the Dove ads writes, "If the women in these ads lacked self-esteem, they wouldn't be up on a billboard in their skivvies. Hey, good for them. I even have a favorite Dove chick: Stacy (the student). She's the one who poses with her backside to the camera, showing off her ample bottom. I see Stacy every day—she's on the bus stop shelter next to my house. "Check out this fiiiiiiiine bedonkadonk," she seems to say to me, grinning slyly over her shoulder. I think I may have a crush on her. But I've said too much already." It is an interesting article but it closes with, "Overall Grade: D. Sadly, this is not a winning play for the long haul. If Dove keeps running ads like this, women will get bored with the feel-good, politically correct message. Eventually (though perhaps only subconsciously), they'll come to think of Dove as the brand for fat girls. Talk about "real beauty" all you want—once you're the brand for fat girls, you're toast." Can I just say something here? THESE WOMEN ARE NOT FAT! Something has happened to the idealized silhouette over the last 15 years and if you don't look like your head is a gigantic lollypop stuck on a stick figure, you are considered obese. Look at old Playboys from the 60's and 70's. Compare that to the Pamela Anderson plastic blow-up dolls that are the rage now. And we all know this, but I will say it again. . .Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 people. I know that personal taste plays into things. I once knew someone that thought that Catherine Zeta-Jones looked like a big cow in Chicago. I think he is a freak because he thinks Pamela Anderson is attractive. Zeta-Jones looked amazing in that movie. I've been fat. At my heaviest I was 200 pounds. Am I exactly where I want to be at the moment? No. But that doesn't mean I don't think I am unattractive. I also know that men find me attractive as well. If you want to see fat, pick an American town. ANY American town. Walk down the street. You will find some hefty people. Why? Personally I think the connection is tied to our addiction to fast food and sugar but what do I know. . . What I find interesting about the Dove ads is that it seems that people find them attractive and then feel like they ought not to because they aren't a negative six. We have been trained to find one silhouette more attractive than others. Take a look at the women in the first season of "Friends". They're thin. Beautiful. But compared to our current idealized esthetic they look a bit heavy don't they? Our culture is so twisted. When I get to my goal weight of 125-135 I will always have big tits and a big ass. And I am happy about that.

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