Lovable Makes Me Feel Unlovable

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.

Dear Lovable,

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.

quote lovable

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?


7 thoughts on “Lovable Makes Me Feel Unlovable

  1. I’ve suffered bulimia in the past (occasionally still do), and it’s definitely the sort of thing that triggers me to want to go and puke up my last meal, to be perfectly honest. She’s writhing around like a snake, bones poking and jutting out all over the place. To be honest I wouldn’t want to be that thin personally, even if it was attainable for me, but seeing it is definitely the sort of thing that makes me feel shit about my body. And I’m generally blogging about how happy i am with my body these days!

    • Jasmine, thanks so much for your beautiful, honest comment. I’m sorry to hear you suffer with bulimia and that these ads had a negative affect on you as well. A lot of people have written to Lovable about the ads and hopefully will see some response. Have you considered writing to them and telling them exactly what you’ve written here? I think they need to hear it. If you’d like more info, let me know and I’ll see if I can find the email address. Thanks again for your comment.

  2. The “come hither” sexy pouts annoy me. If they are trying to appeal to women = EPIC FAIL. When I am choosing images/illustrations for my blog and Footprints, sexy pouts are OUT.

  3. PS unless of course that is specifically what the article calls for … eg in the next issue of Footprints there is a story on flirting (“flirting with danger”) and it may be appropriate as an illustration in that context.

  4. I feel embarrassed when I watch those ads because it’s someone I don’t find sexy trying to be sexy, like watching a child trying to be sexy. Ew.

    She’s so overexposed too, she’s on EVERYTHING lately. I think if it were someone else, it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. There are so many better looking girls out there they could have used, why that bogan? Embarrassing.

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