Women have been bombarded since the beginning of advertising with images of unrealistically skinny women. I can’t even walk in my hometown of Montreal for more that 60 seconds without being flashed a tall lanky stereotype of what I should look like. What kind of message does that send a 5’2″ woman? So when i finally saw the Dove campaign for real beauty I said to myself finally a company who understands us. Dove made a lot of money on this campaign and other companies wanted to follow in their footsteps. Corporate social responsibility became the new “IN” word for corporation thinking that they can increase profit margins if they show that they are a brand that cares. Unfortunately, there are too many companies are just cashing in on the idea but don’t truly believe that this it is a better way to do business.
Take Levis for instance with it new “Hotness comes in all shapes and sizes”. The message on its own is something that sounds like a good idea but a glimpse at the picture and the women all have the same type of “stereotype” physique that you would normally see in a magazine cover. It’s really frustrating to see companies so afraid to take a chance and put a more average figure wearing their brand.
ABC for example refused to air a plus sized lingerie model saying that it was too “revealing” meanwhile Victoria Secrets airs during primetime. Why are they so afraid of showing a “real woman”. Are they afraid that we are going to relate to the women being shown?
You can check out the news report here.
Advertising needs to change its attitude and think as a society and not as individual companies after all society IS the market.