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The real skinny on skinny ads
February 27, 2012 - Taste Buds
We've all seen 'em. Those clothing ads with airbrushed, uber-skinny models in painted-on jeans and six inch platform heels--you know, a "real" American woman. (The Buds have been around a while and have visited various parts of the country and/or the world and have yet to see a "real" woman who looks like this.) Recently though, a Levi's ad baring the campaign slogan "hotness comes in all shapes and sizes" has caught a lot of ire. The ad features the side view of three brown ponytailed women in black tank tops and dark denim jeans. The Buds have studied the ad a few times and no matter how hard we look, we don't see much difference in the women, other than one might be a size 0, the other a size 0.5 (if there is such a thing) and the other a size negative 1 (again, if there is such a thing).
We don't know about you, but we're pretty tired of seeing wire thin models shoved down our throats in ads. Of all the people we know--skinny, heavy, short, tall--between us Buds and our friends and our friends' friends, we don't know any women who a) are even close to being this skinny and b) really want to look like they're on the brink of an eating disorder. These women don't even LOOK healthy! The Buds would love to see them in real life, minus all the professional hair and makeup and photo retouching.
And the fact is, MOST of those photos are retouched. That's right. Even your perfectly perfect models don't have the crystal clear skin shown in an ad. They don't have a perfectly flat belly or six-pack abs. Last year, a Ralph Lauren ad featuring a horrifically skinny model caught the attention of the public. The model wore a plaid shirt and jeans, but her waist was photoshopped so much that she almost had Barbie proportions. Not only did she not look natural, but her suddenly microscopic waist made her head look disturbingly large. We're not trying to be mean here, but she looked like a lollipop.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the body shape of a lot of famous women. Every day on TV, Kelly Ripa obsesses about calories. "How many calories are in that?" You can't turn on the TV or click on a website or listen to the radio without being bombarded with ads for weight loss. Exercise, staying in shape--just being skinny, skinny, skinny--that's what we're forcing down the throats of American women. If you aren't a size 2, you're too big. Even in the modeling industry, a size 6 is considered PLUS size! The average American woman is a size 12, 14 or 16. But a size 6 is plus size? Puh-leeze!! No wonder young girls especially feel pressured to be teeny tiny.
The Buds would like to see a movement towards empowering young girls and women of all ages for their minds and their talents, and not basing their worth on what size jeans they wear. Shoot, according to modeling standards, the Buds are heifers! But we are mature enough to know that it's not possible to look like the girls in the fancy ads, and we really don't want to look that way either. We focus on our positive attributes, not on things we don't have. And anyone who does judge a woman by her imperfections should look in a mirror first--chances of seeing imperfection there is probably pretty high.
So be proud of who you are and how you look. We are all different shapes and sizes (even according to Levi's, although they seemed to have gotten confused when searching for photos of real women) and we should embrace our differences. The world is, and always will be, a better place because of it. The Buds only hope that those "young Buds" out there feel the same way.
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