Oh, the irony!

I’m sure you’ve seen this Dove advertisement before. It is an ad campaign designed to make regular women feel better about their bodies.

Unfortunately, they first time I saw it was on another blog with a caption about fat girls.

Now, I am well aware that I need to lose some weight, but I don’t consider myself a fat girl. Or, I guess I should say, I didn’t consider myself a fat girl until I saw this.

Now, please don’t post a comment about how I am not a fat girl or how I had twins 14 months ago, because this is not at all about that. It is about perception. It’s about how my self-perception changed drastically by reading a caption on a picture that I’m sure was meant to be funny. It is about how Dove was trying to make me feel better and instead made me feel worse.
It’s also about how half of my friends are on Weight Watchers, or Atkins, or The South Beach Diet.

It’s about why we can’t just feel good about ourselves the way we are, even when a part (albeit a tiny part) of the media is finally saying, okay, you don’t have to be a waif anymore. Why if Marilyn Monroe wore a size 16, then why can’t we buy a size 14 in The Limited? That is what I want to know. That is what I want you to comment on.

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  1. It’s all because of people like the link. They need to be told to shut up. These are people who have so much money that they have personal trainers while their nanny (or nannies) watch their children in the next room. They have someone to not only cook their meals for them, but clean up after them.

    For some reason (I guess because they are on TV & always seen) we think that is how we are supposed to look.

    The ad campaign didn’t work because the ladies all look fantastic. They are not over weight (I would be surprised if they wore anything larger than a size 10, which is not that big if you are close to 6 feet tall). I think that it made you (& me) feel worse because if that is what fat is, then what are the rest of us considered?

  2. This reminds me of when someone said to me, “Don’t you hope you have legs like Tina Turner when YOU’RE 50?” I said, “Yeah, sure. I didn’t have legs like Tina Turner when I was 21. Unless I get leg implants, I won’t have legs like Tina Turner when I’m 50!”

    Screw the people who think I should look like Kate Moss or even the Dove chicks. I like to eat!

  3. I’ve always said that anyone who’s skinnier than me is too skinny. So if a skinny girl wants to call me fat because I have curves, then I suppose it’s for the same reason: to boost her own ego.

    But seriously, I think our perceptions of ourselves are always a bit distorted. Somewhere I heard about a study where women were shown a series of photos of other women and asked to select the woman who’s body type most resembled their own. Nearly all women will categorize themselves with other women who are a size or two bigger than themselves. Why? Because we look at our weak points more than we should. We obsess over them until they’re larger than life. Lately, I’m obsessed with the size of my upper arms. I think they’re too big. And flabby. Has anyone else ever thought about my upper arms for more than one second? Probably not.

    Why doesn’t The Limited carry a size 14? Because its target market is 15-25 year-olds. We’re supposed to be shopping at department stores now. Or Land’s End or somewhere like that, I guess. Maybe there aren’t enough stores with fashionable clothes for women with womanly bodies. I certainly never can find a medium sized shirt that’s as long as I want it to be after half of its length is lost over my chest.

    I think I look like the girl on the far right in the Dove ad – Stacy. But do I really? I don’t know. Which one are you?

  4. I think it’s more important to be healthy. How much you weigh should be secondary. If you eat right (OK, you can splurge on occassion), excercise, and wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself, what does it matter what size you wear? Take care of yourself and the rest should follow.

  5. For me, it’s not about the scale and how much it says I weigh or should…or even what size I wear. And I don’t tend to care much what everyone else thinks. I am more concerned about how I FEEL in my own skin. I am uncomfortable when I have to “roll” myself off the couch, or when I feel like I’m “falling over” into the seat next to me on an airplane.

    I’m not saying that I need to be a ridiculous size 2 or anything, I am not even interested. I realize as well that our bodies change as we grow older so I don’t expect to be what I was in high school. I just want to be comfortable and healthy.

    I think the advertising world is sick. Just recently at school, I heard a story about a girl (a healthy size 8) being offered a modeling job for plus size models!!! HUH!?!?!?! I don’t want my daughters to feel that they have to be a size 2 to be beautiful. What type of sick message is that?

    Right now, I’m a size 14 and I’m uncomfortable but, I still love myself and I have friends and family that love me, that is all I need. I will continue to try to eat well and try to exercise but not for the rest of the worlds satisfaction, for me and my health.

    No matter what size I am, if the rest of the world doesn’t like it, they shouldn’t look at it!

  6. Anonymous says:

    When I saw the Dove girls, I wished I looked like them.
    I didn’t think that Dove meant to show “fat” girls, I think the point was that they were showing REAL girls. The size ranges of those women were 4-14. They had boobs, they had butts. And yeah they looked better than me but they weren’t Model thin – so I’m giving Dove Kudos for trying.
    I worked in the fashion industry for 10 years in PLUS sized fashion. Every catalog we used testing “large size” models (12 and 14 which is NOT large) would completely tank. No one would buy from it because large people (I mean the truly large) do not want to see how they look.
    It’s so frustrating – I personally would like to know what something is going to look like. I hate trying something on and thinking OH CHRIST I’m in a circus tent.
    I don’t need to be a 4, but I sure would like to be a 16.

  7. Anonymous says:

    ooops – anonymous is me!

  8. I don’t know if you guys have a Goody’s around you. Last week I was looking at theier flier & actually commented that the plus size models were really plus size.

    I only noticed because most plus sized catalogs/fliers have thin models.

  9. It twas a joke. And it worked way better than I had hoped. The girl who it was targeted at (the same girl who took the picture) was MEGA PISSED, and I changed the title on the picture after she threatened my life.

    Mission Way Accomplished – Button Way Pushed

    I would have never noticed the advertisement if she hadn’t been screaming and yelling about how bullshit it was, with all of the same examples above, and then some.

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