In the kinder, gentler 1950s, it was okay to be overt in advertising about what now has to be covert. So the ads still tell us that women are weaker and stupider than men, and need to be kept in their place, but they’re somewhat more subtle than the selection shown aat this link.
Seriously, though, the big message of most advertising these days is that women and men both care more about women’s appearance than about anything else in the world. And that’s not just local to the United States. In Argentina, one man is pushing back.
[Gonzalo Otalora’s] book, Feo (Ugly), has just been republished and is selling well. On the inside cover is a picture of Gonzalo as a youth. It is not a pretty sight.
“It’s not about making yourself look beautiful,” he says, “but about coming to terms with and being positive about who you are and what nature has given you.”
Closer to home, Jennifer Love Hewitt is being harassed for gaining a pound or two … and she has something to say about it.
On her personal site, Hewitt blasted back at those who poked fun at her figure. She’s upset “for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image.”
At Shapely Prose, the ever-insightful Kate Harding nails the fantasy of being thin.
The Fantasy of Being Thin is not just about becoming small enough to be perceived as more acceptable. It is about becoming an entirely different person “one with far more courage, confidence, and luck than the fat you has.” It’s not just, “When I’m thin, I’ll look good in a bathing suit”; it’s “When I’m thin, I will be the kind of person who struts down the beach in a bikini, making men weep.” See also:
* When I’m thin, I’ll have no trouble finding a partner/reinvigorating my marriage.
* When I’m thin, I’ll have the job I’ve always wanted.
* When I’m thin, I won’t be depressed anymore.
* When I’m thin, I’ll be an adventurous world traveler instead of being freaked out by any country where I don’t speak the language and/or the plumbing is questionable.
* When I’m thin, I’ll become really outdoorsy.
* When I’m thin, I’ll be more extroverted and charismatic, and thus have more friends than I know what to do with.
In light of that, it’s a lot easier to understand why some people freak out when you say no, really, your chances of losing weight permanently are virtually nil, so you’d be better off focusing on feeling good and enjoying your life as a fat person.
Read the whole thing, and the follow-up here, as well.
And, finally, one last bit of evidence that the infamous “they” want everything to be about women’s appearance. You, yes you, can win the Blackberry Women and Technology Awards. You could win software, or Blackberry equipment … or a spa day or two or a gift certificate at Selfridge’s “to ensure you are dressed for continued success!”