Marketing "Real" Bodies

April 7, 2014

I enjoyed this New Yorker article Marketing “Real” Bodies by Amy Merrick. Her concluding point:

Any revolution in the depiction of women’s bodies is not going to come from marketers, whose job it is to construct a narrative in which a person is incomplete until a product is purchased—and so must create feelings of unworthiness and desire, as well as an impulse to change. The problem with looking to companies, even well-meaning ones, to determine ethical standards is that the effort will always feel cynical at some level.

I think that’s an important point that’s often forgotten in our feminist pursuits of equality. It’s interesting to me that we still look to fashion models—who exist not to be exhibits of beauty like we all think, but living clothes-hangers—and beauty product commercials—which exist to sell you a product by convincing you that you need it—as the social benchmark on our progress.