Love what you got

I never talk about advertising here, because I believe there’s a time and a place for everything. But today we make an exception.

For my day job, in real life, I work for an ad agency as a copywriter. Some weeks ago Marie Claire Magazine approached Karin (my wonderful Art Director) and I, and asked us to do an ad for their Love Your Body Issue, to try sell women on their own bodies.

Now I’ve sold a lot of things in my time, everything from cars to sanitary towels, but I’ve never tried to sell a woman’s body before (mine doesn’t count).

Marie Claire also gave a handful of other ad agencies the same brief, and all the ads are published in their November issue, which should be on shelves around about now.

The issue looks like this

This is the ad Karin and I made:

Click to enlarge, so you can have a look-see

I picked up on some hoopla over the whole thing on Twitter yesterday. It turns out us chicks and our bodies are a touchy subject.

There’s much debate about a magazine with a skinny, perfect model on the cover, preaching about how we should love our own not so skinny or slightly less perfect selves, on the inside.

I do get their point. Hey I’m a bit of a plus sized model myself, or rather, traditionally built, as I like to think of it, and I’d love it if magazines out there were a little more realistic and representative of the real world.

But, that being said, I think it’s great that magazines are starting to get it, and are trying to make a shift, however small. But we have to be realistic, we are talking about fashion magazines, and reversing more than thirty years of ingrained female mindset here, so let’s just take it a step at a time, shall we. Surely this is a great start in the right direction and Marie Claire deserves a little positive encouragement and reinforcement, instead of a public flogging?

The whole process certainly made me think twice about my body, and got me to do a bit of a Thanksgiving-type routine. In that while I don’t believe I’ll ever like my stomach or my arms very much, I’m thankful for my pretty feet and for my legs and I don’t mind my butt so much, and I like my eyes.

So if that’s what I got out of the whole thing, surely that’s a pretty good start, don’t you think?
Baby steps.

Non-photoshopped, unposed, un-made up Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Also somewhere deep, deep in the recesses of my imagination, I like to think that maybe the absolutely stunningly beautiful, and incredibly successful cover girl, Candice Swanepoel, wishes she had my wordy brain, or something like that. Hey, it could happen.

If you want to see what all the other agencies did, pick up the November issue of Marie Claire SA, it’s worth checking out if this kind of thing interests you. Also, I’d like to hear your take on the whole thing, ladies, gents, anyone?

, , ,

6 responses to “Love what you got”

  1. I love your ad, brilliant!

    I pride myself on being open to anything, but even when I see plus sized models in a fashion mag, my initial thought is that it would look better on someone skinnier.

    Thank you for trying to change the perceived notion that thinner is better!


  2. I don’t know Paige. Do you really think that the fashion or women’s magazines ‘get it’? I can’t help but feel that it’s just lip service. Like a kid’s sports team coach telling the ‘weaker’ players they’ll get their chance, but always fielding the ringers anyway. Just me.

  3. I have to agree with Anton – if women’s magazines really ‘got it’ and were truly inspired to promote ‘real’ women loving their ‘real’ bodies, etc – we’d see a lot more ‘real’ women in the magazines and a lot more ‘real’ women on the cat-walks and ‘real’ women clothing in the stores.

    When living in the UK, it seemed to me that this was a cycle the fashion industry used to spin through every so often, usually prompted by the death of yet another anorexic model. The newspapers and magazines would be full of articles about ‘real’ woman and a swathe of designers would all come out in support of healthier cat-walk models, yet by the time their next collection rolled around, they were back to using ultra-skinny girls.

    Dove seem to be the only ones who have consistently stuck to this message of using real woman and their ads, both in the UK and here in Canada, support this with beautiful woman of all sizes looking wonderfully healthy and happy in their bodies.

    Love your ad!!

  4. So my daughter is 14, and is very image conscious, and loves dressing up and make up etc. A gorgeous 14 year old athletic blonde girl who “needs” makeup?

    So i had to explain the trick, or the catch, that every time you look in the mirror, and say “i need makeup”, there’s an impulse behind that that says: “i’m ugly” or “i’m less than”. Every time, without fail, that thought arises, it’s inevitable.

    I had to explain to her that makeup exists for older women who need to plaster there wrinkles out, because they want to look like a 14 year old again. Not for 14 year olds to look like 40year olds trying to like like 14 year olds.

    Weight is a similar issue, where 90% of the thinking goes on subliminally, but the message keeps coming back to: “I’m ugly”.

    I don’t know how to fix this social disease we have, but i know that efforts like yours are an excellent start, and teaching girls in adolescence how these “lies” work is the best start for now. Fashion magazines should be burned, they have no value to society, quite the opposite.

    peace and love Paige .. keep smiling 😉

  5. Hi all, thanks for your comments so far, i find it completely fascinating. This issue is a definitely a hot one, and i’ve just been surfing the net seeing what people have to say about it.

    I tend to mostly agree with all of you, david, you’re absolutely right that we do have a bit of a social disease, hey, i’m guilty of it myself. so much easier to find flaws than it is to find the good stuff. I love what you say to your daughter re makeup, it’s so true.

    But, what do we do? I’ll be fucked if I know. My thinking was that if enough people praised Marie Claire for this tiny bit of what might very well be lip service (as per Anton Marshall’s comment above) they might just inch forward another step in this direction with their next issue, and then the next and then the next…etceteraaaaa.

    Whether we’ll ever see a ‘normal’ unretouched human being on a fashion magazine cover… well that remains to be seen, but i doubt it, sales are tough enough these days, even with a beaut on the cover.

  6. Your ad is great, women should definitely be confident in their own shape.. no matter their size.

    I’m thankful for my blonde hair and my small feet – they look great in heels! I don’t think I’ll ever be completely happy with myself but as you said, baby steps


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *