My post yesterday about the way women are used in advertising is getting a lot of buzz. It occurred to me that I could make my point even better if I shared with you what I discovered when I was searching for the Stuart Weitzman ad that prompted my post. Whose body is this?
You may answer Kate Moss. And it is true, that is Kate Moss’ face and she is wearing Stuart Weitzman’s shoes and posed for the photo. I don’t think, however, that it is Kate Moss’ body. It may be a version of her real body but it isn’t an exact or even near-exact representation of her actual body. How do I know? Tell me, whose body is this?
Well, the face is the new face of Stuart Weitzman’s shoes – Gisele Bundchen. She has replaced Kate Moss. Why? I have no idea because the bodies in all four of these photos – and we see an awful lot of all four bodies – are exactly the same. The body attached to Gisele’s head bears no perceivable difference to the body attached to Kate’s head.
So, whose body is it? It is the computer generated go-to body of the early 21st century model. She doesn’t have a name because she doesn’t actually exist. The body doesn’t belong to any human alive today.
But, let’s not just pick on Weitzman, Gisele and Kate. Tell me how do the bodies in this ad compare to the bodies of Gisele and Kate in the Weitzman ads?
Seriously, if I cropped the heads out of all of these ads, could you identify which model is which?
Think about this – the age range for Victoria’s Secret models is 18-28, Gisele Bundchen is 34 (mother of two) and Kate Moss is 41 (mother of one). What is the likelihood that all these women, in reality, have nearly the exact same body dimensions and overall appearance? Consider Kate Moss began her modeling career at 14 and Gisele Bundchen around 12. The “ideal” body for a model back when each of them began is very different from the “ideal” body used in these ads today. Who had the crystal ball way back then to know that at ages 34 and 41 and after giving birth to children they would have the same exact body as the newly minted Victoria’s Secret models in their early 20s?
The answer is, of course, there is no crystal ball and the bodies we see in these ads are a fiction. All women should be outraged.
But I would contend that the women who should be most outraged are the women in these ads. Because how long is it going to take for fashion companies to figure out that their IT guys can build a more beautiful, more “perfect” female robo-model on their computers for a fraction of the cost of the current supermodel contract? How can an IT guy do that? It’s already being done in all these ads. This is how:
Now, more and more, the public is learning the truth about these deceitful ads and the fraud of the models with the perfect bodies. We’re already more than half-way there to the time when this curtain gets pulled all the way back to expose the lie and begin to change this ugly reality.
If we care about our daughters, that day can’t come soon enough.
You can read yesterday’s post about the use of women in advertising and participate in my poll on it by clicking here.