Thursday, September 8, 2011

Advertising and the Pressure to be Perfect

I decided to make this my last opinion piece from the questions I posted here. To me the last two questions are connected so I'll answer them together.

One of the things that has frustrated me pretty much my whole life is our culture's emphasis on "perfection." I don't think I would mind it as much if our idea of perfection wasn't so warped. But it is and so instead it just makes me mad.

Let's first talk about Kate Moss and her stupid quote "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."

When I first heard this, I imagined her saying this to a 400 pound person who was eating an entire bucket of KFC by themselves and was defending themselves by saying that it just tasted "so good." In that context, maybe it's not such a dumb quote.

But, to think that being thin is better than eating anything? Really? Obviously Kate has never eaten chocolate cake or even eaten a ripe strawberry. Basically she's saying "don't eat; Be thin instead." WHAT?? That's just messed up. Way to encourage anerexia among our youth! I'm not some skinny waif, but I'm also not obese. In fact, I fall right into the normal and healthy weight/height/BMI limits on every chart. Could I be thinner? Yup, if I ate less crap, but here's the thing. I would find life so much less enjoyable and worth living if I could not indulge in a brownie or a scoop of ice cream. If my kids bake me cookies I don't want to have to turn them away. I'm not into the Jillian Michael's idea that "you can indulge, just have one bite." Uhh, that's not enjoying life. If I got to the point that my health was being compromised or I gained a whole bunch of weight, yes, I would cut back (I can do math, I know that in order to sustain a 300 pound body, you have to consume a lot of calories). But I see no reason to encourage normal weight, healthy people to not eat. So basically, Kate Moss, I think you're dumb.

I think I'm overly sensitive to these things because I have two little girls whom I have to guide through life and help them sort out the crap like this. It bothers me that people who are "role models" (in quotes because I hardly see Kate Moss as a role model myself, but sadly others do) say and do dumb things that normal people try to emulate.

I also asked if there should be a law that stopped advertisers from altering pictures under the premise of false advertising. Now I know something like this would be nearly impossible to enforce because you would have to have very strict rules as to what is considered altering. But I guess, in my ideal world I would think it would be illegal to airbrush a model who is modelling foundation and then tell the customer that it will give you a flawless texture. Show her real face. Show what the product actually does (or doesn't do).  Hair models should not be allowed to have the "frizz" deleted from the picture or the colour saturated. Clothing models should have to be the sizes that the clothes actually come in (when I worked retail it bothered me to no end that we had to clip the clothes in the back of the mannequin because they were smaller than the smallest size of clothes that were carried in the store. That doesn't even make sense to me!).

I wish there was a "reality" movement for the fashion and beauty industries where instead of digitally altering their models, they embraced their differences. I fully support Dove and their campaign for real beauty. I just wish more company heads saw things this way. I know it's a multi-billion dollar industry, but when we see kids literally killing themselves to try to reach an extreme that is out of reach because it physically can't exist without the help of computers, that tells you there is something seriously wrong. And yet as a society it is continually celebrated. It makes me sick. I hope those lining their pockets because of these lies are constantly reminded of the harm that they are perpetuating. If for no other reason than for the sake of the next generation of kids.

1 comment:

  1. ~applauds~ Preach it sister!

    You are so so very right. And we have little girls already going on diets. We have little girls already dressing like prostitutes.

    But it will only stop if women and moms get fed up with it and stop buying those products. Corporations only see money.


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