As you may have figured, I’m pretty passionate about making sure the women of our world are treated fairly and respectfully. That not only encompasses women living in third world conditions but also us over here in the Western World. Yes, we can vote and work and have our say but we’re still being objectified and generally, the message of the media is usually that we’re most useful if we’re highly sexual and attractive. Underwear and Lingerie companies are often the ones sending out the message that we all need to be ‘thin, sexy and available’. Women’s underwear brand, Loveable say they’re committed to changing this and sending out a positive message to women about their bodies. Melinda Tankard Reist summed up the reality of their ‘commitment’ on her blog yesterday: “Reinforcing cultural messages about the superiority of thin women who conform to conventional notions of beauty (with help from airbrushing and possibly even plastic surgery) doesn’t transform the culture.”
When I saw her post about the latest Loveable ad campaign I was overjoyed. The ad features a skinny, tanned Jennifer Hawkins moving around the place in such a sexy, alluring way. She’s gorgeous, her body is perfect which is great for her but for some reason, the way she is portrayed in this ad really hit a nerve and made me feel like rubbish. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and never would be. I don’t usually react to things this way but this ad got through my armour. I wrote a comment and, much to my excitement, Melinda decide to feature it in her open letter to Loveable.
Have a read of the letter and if you’re concerned about advertising aimed at women and teenage girls, visit the Collective Shout and join with thousands of us who are campaigning for the respect of women.
Yesterday I wrote about your ad campaign featuring Jennifer Hawkins. I hope you read the piece. If you missed it, and you’re on the home page, scroll down a little and you’ll find it (it’s got lots of pictures of Jennifer Hawkins looking thin and sexy in bra and knickers and there’s a video too in which she’s getting up close and personal with an icecream and cavorting with a slice of watermelon).
Your company claims to care about body image. You claim to want to change the culture. You claim to produce intimate wear which doesn’t objectify women. You are even sponsoring Body Image Awareness Week which is on now. And you support a prominent eating disorder charity.
So I think you should read this comment, from Joni, a young woman from Sydney. She posted it on my site last night. She says your campaign makes her feel horrible. She says it tears at her self-esteem. She says she hates your ads more than any other ads.
I reckon you might want to revise your approach. Perhaps you’d like to respond to Joni and my other readers? We’d like to know how you can justify an approach which flies in the face of your stated goals.
So, what do you think about the new ad? How do you feel about lingerie advertising in general? What do you think should be done about it, if anything?