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scarletibis24
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Posted on Wed, Aug 09, 2006 22:43

A few months ago, the Dove Company started a campaign for women of average size. The agenda was to sell a firming cream. The ads, for the most part, featured women who may be considered large or "fat," that is, in comparison to the rail then models we see everywhere else. They were realistic, happy, and in their tighty whities. About a month and a half ago when all of the campaigns began appearing on the sides of buses, newspapers, etc., of course, that's when all of the commentary (for the most part negative) began its wrath of distaste, contempt, and disgust for these women. I suppose it's hard for most people to face the gritty, "ugly" truth. I don't understand what exactly was so offensive about these women besides the fact that they weighed more than the standard Hollywood 105 pounds. So what? Most women, in the real world, do. These women were not wriggly and jiggly, exposing stretch marks or rolls. In fact, to a certain extent, I would say that perhaps they were ideal. They were firm and smooth, and the ads were done tastefully. What the frig was the big deal? Gosh... I am not much of a newspaper reader, however, I will read a particular article that catches my interest for example, or Richard Roeper. For the most part, I respect his opinions and laugh at his somewhat wry humor. However, I completely disagreed with his statements in regards to the Dove campaign. He describes the women as "chunky," which they weren't, and the ads as being "unsettling." Personally, I find dropping down to eighty-five pounds, dying your hair blond, and then prancing about like some frail, crack head for the world to see seems "unsettling." What I also found to be unsettling was the fact that Dove, although quite daring for their ads (which says a lot about society today), never made any commercials that were seen in abundance. I think it would have been interesting to see the unattainable, yet sexy Victoria's Secret IPEX bra ads followed by a realistic REAL women Dove commercial. Talk about a self esteem boost (not that I don't love my Victoria's Secret). My point is, we need a balance to all of the anorexic looking women out there. I don?t mean regular, more conventional ads with small women, because there are women sizes two to six who do look healthy. And that's what the Dove women look like-- healthy. Health of a different kind of degree is all. They were not in skimpy underwear with long flowing hair that was being casually blown by an unseen fan, or even wearing makeup beyond the au natural look. They were relatable and inspiring. I also did not like Roeper's statement here: "If I want to see plump gals baring too much skin, I'll go to the Taste of Chicago, OK? I'll walk down Michigan Avenue or go to Navy Pier. When we're talking women in their underwear on billboards outside my living room windows, give me the fantasy babes, please. If that makes me sound superficial, shallow and sexist -- well yes, I'm a man." All men do not prefer these "fantasy babes" of which Richard Roeper speaks. In fact, the Dove women may be the fantasy babes that some men have been waiting a long time to see in public ads. In regards to the statement of him going to the Taste to see "plump gals baring too much skin," I find that offensive. I have seen these women at the Taste, and they would thank their lucky stars to have a body like the women in the Dove campaign. Do not these women showing a healthier attitude towards their own self image make other women feel better about their own? I would think so. It helps us to strive for the obtainable and not plastic surgery. Also, I think that Dove has given up the fight too easily. I do not even see these ads anymore. Where have they gone? Why couldn't they make new and fresh ads using those same women promoting their product? Does the Dove company honestly believe that I want to continuously see the likes of Teri "Boney" Hatcher or Mischa "Rail Thin" Barton in ads? If I want to puke out every other meal or starve myself, then yes, I would. The Dove women made me feel better about myself physically. I have faced the fact that I will never be 110 pounds. And guess what? I don't care. Personally, I think the next step Dove should take (or any step really, since they seemed to have abandoned this campaign), is to get certain celebrities to join in, such as Queen Latifah, Roseanne, Camryn Manheim, Monique, or Kirstie Alley. Even Tyra Banks, Kate Winslet or J. Lo. They look healthy too. The best part about those ladies participating would be that they aren't afraid to make fun of themselves, speak the truth, or fight back against a majority prejudiced media.


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Posted on Fri, Aug 11, 2006 23:52

Scarlet, I've been thinking about this topic from the day you posted it. Bless you for bringing it to the surface. My vote goes out to Queen Latifah as spokesperson. She is not only a beautiful woman,inside and out, but has talent, humor, and credibility to back her up. Young women need this strong role-model in their lives. Of course there are many more women I could add to the list, but she sticks out in my mind. Thanks for adding this to the blog section. As for my daughter, we solved that problem quickly. I am thankful for that. I miss the Dove girls. Bring them back!


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scarletibis24
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Posted on Fri, Aug 11, 2006 22:48

SV: I was an avid "Apprentice" watcher, and I'm pretty sure they didn't do an ad for Dove. A lot of car ads, maybe a Zest one or something... But I know they didn't do one involving "full figured" women. Michaela: Thanks. I saw maybe one commercial aired a few times, an add on a bus and one at the bus stop. Now, the ads in the magazine have changed to skinny women. I haven't seen the others (I had a pic of them posted in this blog, but I guess it didn't meet the requirements of this site. Makes me wonder if it was because of their *size...). criztine: Thank you. I think you're absolutely right. I don't think everyone thinks that way, but enough people do for that type of thinking to survive. What one will do for acceptance...


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scarletibis24
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Posted on Fri, Aug 11, 2006 12:49

tallsxyemt: That's very unfortunate. I think it happens more than we are even aware... NativeNewYorker: Never fully thought of it that way, but I still don't get how one can be attracted to a mere skin and bones... I just don't get it. Zellbell: I actually worked at a Victoria's Secret once upon a time, and the majority of the women who shopped there were a size 8 or larger! They really should cater to their clients. Bonnie: In addition to the magazines, television contributes to this. Though I'm not watching this particular show, Celebrity Fit Club has had people on there who weren't even fat! I didn't get it. Then you have people like Janice Dickinson calling skinny people fat! If they're fat, then I must be obese... I wonder if they're enough blind men to go around, lol. steelmagnolia2001: I'm not sure how to remedy such a problem. At least, if they want to lose weight, try to persuade them to do it a healthy way. Cause by starvation and bulimia, sure they'll be (unhealthily) skinny, but they'll probably end up bald with fainting spells as well. lovelylotus: I wish there was a way to bring them back... Ho hum. sepelo7: A happy medium is possible, but I don't think it's probable for the majority. And thanks for that last bit bout the donut and m&m's, it made me laugh :D I like Snickers myself...


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sepelo7
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Posted on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 07:34

Love your comment about how unsettling it is to see these skeletons walking around as role models. We all know their hair is completely fake because its thinning and breaking so much from the lack of nutrients they have to put massive extensions in. Can you imagine the damage they do to their bodies? Its scary. But what I also find odd is that our nation is one of the most obese nations in the world. How is that possible? We have both extremes. . .obesity and malnutritioned. Cant we just find a happy medium? (This blog was written as I consumed a donut, and massive handfuls of m&m's)


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lovelylotus
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Posted on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 07:33

I remember these seeing these ads and feeling empowered and beautiful. These women are like me- strong and healthy. I miss them!


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Posted on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 07:31

I agree with everything you have written,scarlet. Unfortunately, for the US population, most women are not size 2 and thus, unworthy of an ad, a TV show, or ready to walk down the red carpet. This is an issue that pops up on Oprah all the time. When will the general population learn that real women are not Paris Hilton. She makes me sick, by the way. I think the only thing going for her is her last name. Same with Tori Spelling. Unsettling it is, and for all of us. It is especially unsettling if you have a teen-age daughter in the house. How do you fight against the top models? How do we teach our daughters to eat normally and not starve to get into those size 2 jeans? Anorexia and bulimia are their solutions. I had to fight this with my own child. What is the rest of the country doing? This is a big problem.


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Posted on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 07:02

Well, I thought the women were beautiful and not at all "fat" ... just normal women! We need more of this kind of advertising. And why can't Victoria Secrets have plus sized models too? Skinny little models aren't the only ones who need nice bras and panties!! I think curvy is sexier than rail thin bodies.


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tallsxyemt
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Posted on Thu, Aug 10, 2006 00:23

Here! Here! Hey I am a little tired of picking up teenage girls who eat cigarettes to make themselves throw up or who are on heroin because it quells their appetite. I had an 11 year old who did permanent damage to her liver due to malnutrition from making herself throw up so much. Asked why she would do that she said she though Lindsay Lohan was beautiful and because she had red hair if she was skinny she would be beautiful too! Unsettling is right!


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