Dove Beauty Products? I thought they were selling the Dove Ice Cream Bar!

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Mesmerized by those Dove "Campaign For Real Beauty" ads, wherein a crash of full-figured sirens work it in their underpants? You're not alone. The ads, which began appearing a few weeks ago, have generated the kind of quadruple-extra-large reaction every ad company craves.

From comic ambivalence to Marxist/feminist umbrage to unabashed applause for Dove's self-congratulatory claims, this is the kind of controversy where the advertiser just keeps winning. (Or not: Slate's Seth Stevenson gives Ogilvy & Mather a short-term A and a long-term D for the spots, because, "once you're the brand for fat girls, you're toast.")

One striking thing about the Campaign For Real Beauty dustup is the way semiotic mumbojumbo has now become the national language of the United States. According to the coverage, it's all about "redefining" beauty, and Dove's Campaign site dedicates itself to overthrowing "stifling stereotypes" (no doubt replacing them with steatopygic standards). When even the people trying to sell you cream for cottage cheese thighs have to drivel about how everything's a "construct" and a cultural "mythology," we have officially reached a stage of terminal self-awareness. Aren't there any dummies left out there who still think a cigar is just a cigar?

The other interesting detail: Dove, for all its realness, is apparently still not being real enough. The average woman in the United States today is a couple sizes larger than the largest of the brood mares depicted in these ads. So we have still more proof of Reason editor Nick Gillespie's longstanding theory about defining fatness upward. The political element in campaigns like Dove's is always vaguely described as being about body acceptance, but quite a few women already seem to have accepted bodies this big and even bigger. Only in America, land of grande promise and vente disappointment, could you end up with a fat-girls ad that can't even satisfy a discerning chubby chaser.

But the most serious implication of the Campaign For Real Beauty has been spotted by underrated funnyman Don Asmussen.

NEXT: Crime Prevention

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  1. Ha! I really did think they were selling Dove Ice cream! My immediate thought was that was a pretty ballsy way to advertise a product-it will make you fatter in the right places!

  2. Slate’s Seth Stevenson gives Ogilvy & Mather a short-term A and a long-term D for the spots, because, “once you’re the brand for fat girls, you’re toast.”)

    Yeah, that’s why Lane Bryant stores left and right are closing their doors.

    Oh, wait.

  3. Not exactly the same thing Phil. Lane Bryant sells plus-sized clothes, but they don’t make it into the centerpiece of their ad campaign the way Dove seems to be doing. Comparatively speaking, they don’t advertise that much at all; given the fact that they have a huge market almost completely to themselves, why should they? I don’t necessasarily think Stevenson is right; I can only imagine that the women who buy those products do so out of a belief that they are the means to a lifestyle rather than a symbol of a lifestyle in and of themselves, but that doesn’t change the fact that the comparison you make isn’t exactly apt.

    The feminist article is mostly dreck, but I did like how it pointed out the irony of using “normal” women to sell products that are designed to get rid of the traits that make them the targets of the ads in the first place. There’s something darkly humorous about the whole campaign. But, comedy aside, it’s probably a bad sign that our society has become so self-parodying, isn’t it?

  4. Even a hundred years ago, models were thinner than most real women. I used to have a reproduction of the 1900 Sears catalog, and if you look at the drawings of women wearing corsets for sale, and compare that to actual dress sizes from the era that you’ll find in museums, you’ll see that the “wasp waist” standard of beauty was as unrealistic then as the Kate Moss standard is today.

  5. I bet the Dove models are “obese” by government standards. Shouldn’t the government be banning the ads? Dove is encouraging obesity!

  6. Scantily clad women in ads? I’ve never heard of such a thing before!

  7. Leonard Shlain observes that human females are the only ones who use fat as a sex lure.
    (Works for me.)

  8. Having spent a couple of months now working behind the scenes at an ad agency, I’m surprised MORE companies don’t use women like this. Especially clothing companies. I’m pretty skinny myself, but I have a hard time finding clothes that fit because it seems they’re all designed for women who are six feet tall and have ten-inch waists.

  9. A cigar is always just a cigar.

    An ad which appeals to fat girls is just an ad which appeals to fat girls.

    Anyone who has trouble understanding these facts is mentally defective.

  10. And it took a great man like President Clinton to combine the cigar and a fat girl to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

  11. JMoore,
    What does a cigar have to do with a fat girl?

    Wait!

  12. I must say that recent news (Hillary with video game sex, here with cigars and fat girls) has actually made Clinton Blow Job comments topical, not just last-ditch political insults.

    I always felt it should have gone like this:
    Mr. President, did you diddle your intern?
    [Clinton dons fur coat and raps:]
    I like big butts and I can not lie…

  13. I’ve never seen these ads — and the website takes forever to load — so someone here please tell me: Are these models genuinely “fat,” or are they normal-sized and pretty (like, say, Minnie Driver at the beginning of her career)?

    It might be time to propose a revision to Nick’s theory: America could be defining fatness upwards for men and downwards for women.

  14. All I know is that some of these girls are freakin’ hot. The barista? The student? Mmmm.

  15. Jesse–

    I’d say they range from average to just-slightly-larger-than-average. The Slate article has some pictures and shouldn’t take too long to load.

  16. These adds might be offensive to some people. They should be banned, I beleve we should have a govrnment agency that must pre-approve all ads to make sure they are politically correct. That being said people should sue the company for emotional distress.

  17. Jesse,

    Seth Stevenson’s piece includes a picture of all the ads in the campaign. The cover a range of sizes, though as Tim notes they are still “below average.” You can judge for yourself.

    Tim,

    I’m not really sure how you feel about the ads. I mean, I get that all the _commentary_ concerning the ads is annoying the crap out of you, but I couldn’t tell what you felt about the ads themselves.

    Now obviously the ads have gotten attention. But unlike Stevenson I don’t think they are inherently self-defeating, because now that Dove has associated itself with beautiful women of all sizes, _it never has to run a similar campaign again_. At least not for a while, until another company finds a way to run a similar campaign without appearing to be a rip-off.

    Anon

  18. well played, jf.

    I think Seth Stevenson loses. If we all are getting fatter, then companies catering to personal fat issues like firming cream, weight loss fads, 30-minutes-a-week-magic exercise machines and “low-fat/diet” foods should be cleaning up. To paraphrase the old adage about the pr0n industry, nobody seems to do it yet they make a ton of money selling it.

    Far beyond the semiotic and pseudosociological issues, I still vote for the Simpsons episode where Homer gets fat to claim disability insurance to be the greatest cultural commentary on weight issues ever delivered in 30 minutes or less.

    “Hey fatty, I’ve got a movie for ya: ‘A fridge too far'”

  19. They can “redefine beauty” and “overthrow stifling stereotypes” all they want, but I don’t find overweight women to be sexy and never will.

  20. I’d just like to say that Tim is on his game recently …

  21. Thanks, Jennifer; I hadn’t clicked on the Slate link.

    As I suspected, none of the women are obviously overweight, all of the women are pretty, and a couple are exceptionally good-looking.

    I’d have more respect for Dove if it just started using pictures of these models rather than patting itself on the back for its alleged bravery.

  22. Jennifer,
    You may need to have a word with Jane(t).

  23. Jesse,

    Advertising is all about patting yourself on the back. It’s not a utopian vision, it’s an ad for thigh cream.

    Those are some big, beautiful girls.

  24. Advertising is all about patting yourself on the back.

    True enough.

  25. “I’d have more respect for Dove if it just started using pictures of these models rather than patting itself on the back for its alleged bravery.”

    Sure, but Dove doesn’t want your respect. It wants your money. Launching a massive ad campaign without some additional public relations (or tie ins to Girl Scout campaign!) would be silly.

    But this raises an interesting question. What was the last massive corporate ad campaign you _respected_?

    Anon

  26. Bacardi and Cola: They Get the Job Done!

    Just kidding.

  27. I like the Dove ads way more than the cow with it’s asshole taped up. Can Reason get different accounts or what?

    There must be enough posters on this board who have fat issues for Dove to sell a tom of firming cream (whatever that is).

  28. Some of the models are a bit zaftig,but I wouldn’t call any of them fat. Several would merit a second, or third, look at the beach or pool.

  29. Ira Weatheral,
    Reasonoids are not the target market for soap.
    Now cow privates, that’s another matter.

  30. I guess I should answer my own questions:

    1. I think the ads are fine. But that comes from someone who watches ads and never remembers products. Since advertising commands a great amount urban visual space, I generally appreciate novel advertising independent of the product. In that sense these ads are just a variation on a theme — pretty people standing around — but the women in them seem less…melodramatic…than in so many other campaigns, and I appreciate that.
    It reminds me of Stevenson’s piece on Axe vs. Old Spice . Old Spice’s approach seems pretty straightforward — our product will not make you a god to women, but you’ll smell pleasant. Your pretty girlfriend in your small apartment will be more tolerant of your sports obsession, etc.
    Dove is not changing the world, and those who dislike the beauty industry are absolutely right that this is, effectively, exerting “beauty pressure” on a larger body of women (forgive the expression). On the other hand, it also means that the general media environment is filled with people who look different that the weirdly plastic Courtney Cox, who shared at me from the drug store counter just last night. I can’t say this is a bad thing.
    Moreover, extrapolating this line of thought, it would seem that eventually ads will just include random people off the street, at which point their effectiveness will be nil. But their creativity might be significant. I imagine ad-folk have thought about telling us to Obey Giant or swoon .
    As with the trend of hiring indie bands to provide backing music for ads, in the end I have to support this, since it means people I like may find greater exposure (pardon the pun again). The skinny model, like the jingle, will have to fight for my attention in the ad marketplace.

    2. As for respectable ad campaigns, I’ll have to think about it. I have respect for whoever greenlighted Burger King’s Subservient Chicken ads, but maybe I’m using “respect” too loosely here.

    Anon

  31. Sure, but Dove doesn’t want your respect. It wants your money.

    Actually, it seems to want both.

    Anyway, Joe has already reminded me that this is an advertising campaign first and a humanitarian-of-the-year entry second, and I’m happy just to enjoy the pictures and buy some soap. But if someone wants to pause to puncture the campaign’s pretensions, that’s fine too.

  32. “brood mares”? Man, that was harsh. I read the Slate article the other day and also thought it was Dove Chocolate until it was pointed out to me above. It’s obvious to me now that it makes much more sense to be about beauty products. Admittedly, I was seriously confused, but it does seem strange to me that I was willing to accept it in my mind that it was an ad for chocolate.

  33. Bottom line: Most guys will still prefer thinner girls to fatter ones.

  34. Speak for yourself Whizler.

    As much as I hated them, the “Why Ask Why?” ads had a certain honesty to them that I respected. Being that their basic message was “Stop thinking. Drink beer”.

  35. “Brood Mares” would be a great name for a punk band. Also, extra points for using “steatopygic” in a sentence. Have you been reading the “Enriching your word power” section of Reader’s Digest lately?

  36. Ruthless-
    But are Reasonoids also a target market for hiring Judge Napoliatno to speak at our functions or for better fitness through carpet humping?

  37. Whizler,

    Let the market tell you what most guys prefer. Products targeted at straight males (e.g. Playboy) have beefier models than those targetted at women and gay males.

  38. None of those gals seems particularly big, or at least not “fat” big. Yeah, bigger than models, but a size 4 is bigger than models. My girlfriend is 5’6″, weighs 140, wears a size 6, you have to be mental to think that’s fat.

    All of those Dove gals are attractive, and at least three are frickin’ hot. So, yay dove, you finally put some girls with actual hips in some advertisements! Hooray, but I doubt you’ll get the rest of the world on board. Bloody models, they all look like someobody epoxied canteloupes to a broomstick.

  39. “Actually, it seems to want both.”

    Well, that involves taking their PR firm’s comments at face value. This may be unwise. Nonetheless, I just feel Dove shouldn’t be judged any more harshly for claiming the want your respect that Carl Jr.’s should be for claiming to not want it. Which does not mean that both campaigns are not deserving of snarky commentary.

    Anon

  40. I?m mostly with Jesse on this one. I could accept an athletic build as being a healthier feminine ideal that the curvy standard I prefer (think Grable, Monroe, Mansfield etc.) but the Aushwitz survivor look that our society has come to embrace is fucking disgusting. It may be true that “Most guys will still prefer thinner girls to fatter ones”, but when we’re talking this thin (i.e. every model pictured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, etc.) it’s more than just a matter of taste when I say we are poorer for it. However flawed these Dove ads are, to the extent that they exhaust the ‘naturally curvy’ look, I welcome them.

  41. Concerning the theory of “defining fatness upward,” I think that is what happened, at least for men. But I think it’s gone down for women. I mentioned on another thread this week that there used to be two BMI charts for the two sexes, to reflect the fact that a healthy woman will have more body fat than a healthy man. But now there’s only one chart. Are women held to the leaner standards of men, or are men allowed to slide on the fatter standards of women? I think it’s a little of both.

    Get this: I got my first Internet connection about six years ago, and I found a BMI chart and, just for curiosity’s sake, typed in my height and weight. I registered at the lowest end of the “normal” zone, only a pound or two above being officially “underweight.”

    Then a couple of days ago somebody posted a BMI link on to Hit and Run, and I went to it. Same height and weight as I was six years ago, only now I’m smack in the middle of the “normal” zone, or maybe even slightly closer to “overweight” than “underweight.” Think about that: I haven’t gained an ounce of weight or lost an inch of height these past six years, and I wear the same size clothes, yet somehow I’ve managed to become “fatter.”

  42. I’ve been following this campaign for some time now, and I have a few observations.

    1. I love it.

    2. The Slate article was correct in part, in that “a fat girl brand” is doomed.

    3. HOWEVER, that’s not actually what it’s about. Prior to the ‘real curves’ ads, Dove started a face model campaign in fashion mags, using striking but ‘different’ women to make a point. For instance, a beatiful redhead COVERED in freckles. The ad asked, “flawed? or fabulous…what do you think?” A second ad featured an older woman with gray hair, “gray? or gorgeous?”

    4. These girls are not fat, they range in size from 2 to 10. That makes them, in every store I’ve shopped in, size Medium. It’s amazing to me that all the commentary centers around them being “fat.” Well, frankly, I’m sick of being told that my size 8 is “fat”. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. This isn’t even approaching the sizes in Lane Bryant stores (which start at 14, I believe). And it therefore isn’t in danger of branding Dove “a fat girl brand”. Instead, they’re playing this very well and making themselves a brand that EVERY woman can identify with, since no one is flawless.

    5. Dove has also commissioned actual academics to do real studies on conceptions of beauty, and if you sign your name on their web page they will donate to a self-esteem program for girls.

    6. I’m amazed at how men I’ve observed are responding. I’m told that Roeper of Ebert & Roeper wrote a negative article, saying he’d “rather keep the fantasy”. Well guess what, sir, the ads aren’t aimed at you. Several other men have expressed similar feelings in my presence and in fact our whole office had an argument about this campaign. Have we really gotten that bad, that seeing size 2-10 women in their underwear is offensive to men? Geesh.

  43. Yeah, when I think “body of a Greek God” good ol’ Roper is the first guy who comes to mind. . . .

  44. No girls wearing butt-floss?

    I am so disappointed.

  45. Jennifer,

    Ugh…I didn’t even read the Roeper article, because just someone telling me about the content steamed me so much it ruined an entire evening. I put my own private curse on the man, though. 🙂

  46. Those women are gorgeous.

    How about, for the next firming cream campaign, using the ever ad-friendly Stones?

    “Yeah, we all need someone we can cream on
    And if you want to, well you can cream on me …”

    This is why I’m not in advertising.

  47. Or maybe Bob Dylan in a Venetian palazzo, cavorting surrealistically with a normal-sized woman.

  48. Stephen–

    Having spent much time this morning trying to rewrite some ad copy for a ludicrously picky client, I’m swaying toward something like “Buy Dove products or we’ll shoot your fucking dog and force-feed it to your obnoxious kids.”

    I keep asking my boss to find some clients who aren’t so damned family-friendly.

  49. I just realized that some people could read my last post to mean I had something to do with the Dove campaign. I do not.

  50. Ruthless,

    It’s not the soap I’m thinking of, but a picture of the Dove girls on the top of the page instead of the cow-thong/carpet humper/Judge Neapolitan pictures would be an improvement and might raise the level of discourse!

    Well, it might improve everybody’s moods, anyway.

  51. “Yeah, we all need someone we can cream on
    And if you want to, well you can cream on me …”

    That don’t sound like a Dove ad…

    Maybe for for another pr0n themed Axe body spray ad.

  52. I forgot to add in my semi-rant: It’s reassuring to see that the vast majority of men posting on this thread are not of the Roeper mentality. Good on you, guys. 🙂

  53. I think they’re hot!!!

  54. Speaking of things we like to see:
    Has anyone seen the new movie, 9 Songs?

  55. Yes, “the student” — the one with her back to the camera, the one the guy from Slate has a crush on — is smokin’ hot. I would buy lots of Dove soap if that’s what she told me to do.

  56. It looks to me like these models are the perfect size.

    But my preferences might not be anywhere near the average, since I hate the look of silicone.

  57. The undeniably gorgeous women in this Dove ad are rendered in all their lifesize glory in the corridor between the East Side subway lines at Grand Central Station and the shuttle to Times Square. All I can say is: “Baby, you had me at ‘Where’s the Popeye’s in this neighborhood?'”

    Also, some reference has been made above to the “BMI chart.” Personally, I’ve always been more an ASCAP sort of guy, but then I guess we’ve all been talking too much about that cartoon cow at the top of the page.

  58. I was going to make some smart ass remark about how well those ads will play in East LA. But I’ll skip that and say that it’s all about marketing to the right demographics and that’s cool.

    Despite the stereotypes, most of us men don’t expect physical perfection in a chick (lord knows I lost my girlish figure eons ago). We like clean girls that smell good, we like a big smile, & we like some other things not suitable for a mention on a family BB such as this.

    That is not to say that when some 19 year old hottie bends over on the beach that I won’t forget my name for a few minutes.

    That’s a biological part of being male, and has no bearing on the fact that we love our women and for the most part we love them just the way they are, so I expect this Dove advertising campaign to work pretty well.

  59. What is ASCAP?

  60. And BTW, I wouldn’t call these models full figured. They’re average, or maybe even slightly below.

  61. ASCAP= American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. It’s a performance-royalties collecting group that competes with BMI.

    Claim to fame: I have received a royalty check from BMI. A royalty check.

  62. It might be time to propose a revision to Nick’s theory: America could be defining fatness upwards for men and downwards for women.

    Concerning the theory of “defining fatness upward,” I think that is what happened, at least for men. But I think it’s gone down for women.

    I’ll buy that. You certainly won’t find an Eileen Farrell or even a Mama Cass among today’s crop of songbirds. And yet look at how the range of large men has expanded. I’ve been working my way through the complete SCTV catalogue on DVD, and here’s a John Candy insight: In the early seasons, Melonville’s resident Funny Fat Guy was still slim enough that he could have qualified as the skinny Blues Brother by the time of Blues Brothers 2000. When I think of all those years that SCTV struggled with its reputation as the weak sister of Saturday Night Live, I have to conclude that there was some kind of heroic self-sacrifice in Candy’s fatal weight gain. As A.S. Hamrah observed about Elvis’ own supersizing, this sort of bloat is often less about satisfying your appetites than delivering for your audience:

    Sam Phillips thought he was looking for a white man “with the Negro sound.” He was really after a skinny white rocker with the soul of a big black guy. And that’s what he got. This reveals a truth about Elvis that’s heretofore been hidden. The mystery behind why someone would want to eat fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches that called for two sticks of butter every day gets, well, clarified here. It was a form of aesthetic discipline; the King was preparing to become the fat rocker he knew was his destiny. The fat man preceded the sandwiches, not the other way around.

  63. Interesting thought, Tim. I wonder, in all sincerity, whether Mama Cass could make it on American Idol. What do y’all think?

  64. Um, no. Ruben Studdard and Scott Savol may be OK, but Simon Cowell has a pretty clear “no fat chicks” policy.

  65. Funny, this issue must have hit some critical mass on the internet just today.

    Here’s a good article, with quotes from Dove and some critics. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/dove_ads

  66. Being something of a recent convert away from “waifs are hot” to “waifs are fine, but curves are hot” I have to say that some of the women in this ad campaign are gorgeous.

    Linguist-

    Don’t let Roeper ruin your evening. After all, he’s been shitting all over cinema since he got hired to be the Tweedle Dumb to Ebert’s Tweedle Dee in 1999.

  67. Hamrah overlooks the fact that when Fat Elvis was at the height of his Vegas popularity that he was repulsive to everyone except the former Poodle Skirt crowd that swooned for him as a skinny kid in 1955.

    Yes, that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but alive-and-fat-Elvis certainly wasn’t popular with the bulk of the 55 million boomers who saw him as a loser has-been or their parents who hated rock anyway. That wasn’t fair either, but his contributions to rock were largely forgotten about until well past his untimely death.

    And could Mama Cass make it on Idol? That woman could sing, dude and she made it big time in an era where Twiggy was considered the epitome of female chic, I’m sure she could make it today.

    Everyone’s Gettin’ Fat ‘cept Mama Cass Regards, TWC

  68. The key word in the sentence “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” is the word “sometimes.” To say a cigar is “always” just a cigar is unimaginative and, frankly, ignorant. It’s strange how some people want to live in a world where things are always what they appear to be at first glance — and therefore have only one meaning.

  69. TWC,

    Was it really neccessary to post a picture of Twiggy while I’m eating my bar of chocolate? Please.

  70. Smacky, LOL, you know Twiggy got more normal looking later in her life and although you can’t tell it in those skinny photos, she was actually a very attractive woman.

  71. Was Twiggy British? The reason I ask is that I remember reading, relatively recently, that the reason the British “Mod” look of the Sixties was so whip-thin was that British baby-boomer children, due to postwar rationing, didn’t get enough protein during their formative years. If you look at old Monty Python shows, or the early Beatles before they made it big, you’ll see that those guys really were a bunch of sticks; they’d be considered too skinny even by modern modeling agencies.

  72. Linguist: Size 8 eh? Perfect. As stated earlier, my gal is a 6, soft in all the right spots and you’d have to be mental to think that a 6 or an 8 or a 10 is “fat”. Size 2? All I can think is “somebody feed that girl a sandwich.”

    As far as men go, I’ve noticed the same thing. When I worked at Nordstrom for a summer back in highschool (in the NW) we stocked a 50 x 30. I to this day cannot believe that even exists, much less is carried in-store. I, on the other hand, have difficulty finding pants: I guess 30×34 just isn’t that common a size.

  73. Anything with an inseam larger than the waist is difficult for men in the U.S. My boyfriend has to buy his suits in Europe because U.S. stores don’t stock his size.

  74. Two of my past girlfriends were in the size 12-14 range.

    Of course, this is from excesses in the VERTICAL dimension.. they were both six feet tall. One played hockey, and the other did ballet until her feet got too big for the flats.

    Unfortunately, clothes big enough to accomodate their waist/hips never were long enough to accomodate their legs. Women’s clothes seem to only be designed for tall and willowy, or short and round. Never tall and curvy.

  75. I feel you, Timothy… I’m about a 30×32, and it’s tough to find pants for that size. Of course, I buy girls’ jeans, so that helps.

    Also, finding a proper, slim-fitting suit is tough. I don’t like the “sack” style.

  76. It is strange that men’s pants are available on the rack with different inseam sizes but women’s come one standard length per size, with petite sizes (if available) in a separate section of the store.

  77. Cute Drew, real cute.

    I’m with TWC. Mama Cass could make it in any time period. The idea of a meritocracy in anything is crap, but some people are just too good to be held back.

    Besides, Twiggy always creeped me out…

  78. “Women’s clothes seem to only be designed for tall and willowy, or short and round. Never tall and curvy.”

    GOD don’t get me started. One of these days, I swear, I’m going to open a boutique that will have normal sized clothes but cut for women over 5’7″ and C-cup.

    On the male side though, I can vouch that thin men suffer as well. My time working in a department store taught me that the ideal (in my opinion, of course) sizes (33×34 and 34×34) are surprisingly hard to find. And god forbid a man be taller and skinnier than that!

  79. Jennifer, yes Twiggy was Brit–and now another mystery is solved.

    Shem, I like scrawny chicks just fine, but Twiggy was way past that…:-)

    Steven, I used to wear my girlfriend’s jeans….but that was the last time bell bottoms were stylish.

    Serafina, you know what else is bizzare. You can’t get boys jeans in size 9. It’s 8 or 10, neither of which fit my son.

  80. Um, I’m at the top end of a size 12, which makes me look a lot the curly-haired gal 2nd from the left–nowhere near 6 feet tall, but not “fat.” A 6-footer in a size 12 is skinny, dude.

    Just sayin.’

  81. linguist, you happen to be tall? *bats eyelashes*

    April, the trouble with being a 6-footer who wears a size 12 is that the waist/hip dimensions MIGHT fit, if it’s a slim 12, or it might be too big… but the inseam length makes the pants too short to wear. Also, if you want to look at all fashionable, it’s hard… because the fashion-y clothes are designed for the people who are 5’7″ and 110, not 6′ and 175.

    Not that it matters to me, i’m 5’9″ and an 8.

  82. Linguist: Seriously. At 5’10”, 140lbs with long legs, I have to special order pants. I can find 30×32 sometimes, but I like to have a decent break, not look like I’m wearing highwaters.

    I really don’t understand why women’s sizing isn’t done like men’s: based on actual measurements instead of some random number.

  83. Heh, Steven, the ugly truth is that the clothes don’t really fit anyone right. Not me, at least. Waist fits, but baggy–or, alternately, butt fits, I can’t breathe. Thank god for Levi’s 501s–if they ever stop making them, I’m goin’ naked.

  84. My wife is 5’10” and wears a size 8 or size 10, and she is definitely NOT skinny. In fact, she could stand to lose 15-20 pounds.

    The chicks in the Dove ads are all gross – and I am one of those guys who always complains about models being way too skinny. Why can’t we have healthy models, why does it have to be repulsively skinny or, even worse, repulsively fat?

  85. “My wife is 5’10” and wears a size 8 or size 10, and she is definitely NOT skinny. In fact, she could stand to lose 15-20 pounds.”

    While you’re of course entitled to have your own sense of taste, abc, if you’re wife is 5’10” and wears an 8 or 10, then she falls well within the normal and healthy range of women. Perhaps it isn’t that she needs to lose 15-20 but that your taste happens to be for skinny women?

  86. Your wife sounds flabby rather than fat, the way you describe her, abc. They’re two different things, though many people don’t differentiate.

  87. I never said my wife is fat, just that she could stand to lose a few pounds, if she wanted to be in “ideal” condition. Seeing as she has a job and a couple kids, it would be unreasonable to expect her to be in “ideal” condition; though it would also be unreasonable to expect strangers to enjoy looking at her in her underwear.

    On the other topic of men’s pants – I’m 6 foot and weigh in at about 155, and I wear a 33/36. I’ve never had any problem finding pants that fit. Every store sells in jeans and/or khakis in that size… I don’t know where you people are shopping.

  88. Steven Crane,

    Dude, you seriously wear women’s pants? How did that get started? Do we even want to know?

  89. “Not that it matters to me, i’m 5’9″ and an 8.”

    So this is the size you wear in women’s pants, then? Well, then theoretically I guess you could borrow my clothes.

  90. and abc, do you really think all the chicks in the Dove ads are “repulsively fat”? I’m having trouble picturing the ideal woman you’re talking about, if you think models are too skinny, but a 5-10, size-8 woman could stand to lose 15-20 pounds. That would make her as skinny as any fashion model.

    Oh well, to each his own. At least all reasonable men can agree that Salma Hayek is a goddess. Mmmm, Salma Hayek…

  91. At 5’10”, 140lbs with long legs, I have to special order pants

    I was 5′ 11″ & 140 lbs from the time I was 14 until, well, never mind. At any rate I don’t recall having trouble finding pants to fit. Seems like they were 30 x 32. Now I have trouble, but for a different reason. :-0

  92. Sigh.

    Here we all are, taking stands, moralizing, tribalizing, making personal revelations about our and our loved ones’ pants, prefacing all our remarks with variations of this campaign’s slogan so that female readers will approve of us, shunning those whose shibboleths fail the Dove test…because a billboard told us to.

    What’s really more prevalent in advertising–model-thinness or moralizing against it? And which strategy more successfully stops brains and shrinks bank accounts? Evidence points to the latter. But who cares?

    Analysis of the Spectacle is (the most important) part of the Spectacle. Decoding advertisements isn’t an enlightened supra-market intellectual activity–it’s the purest form of advertising and being advertised to. Semiotics is marketing without self-awareness.

    Just don’t look.

    Or at least STFU.

  93. The ideal women (as far as looks go) would be Anna Kornikova. And she is nowhere near as skinny as an average fashion model.

    Or, here’s an example: Lyndsey Lohan was super-hot about 18 months ago. Then she lost 20 pounds and she is horrifying.

  94. Steve:

    They’re fashionable. They fit nicely. What’s the problem?

    linguist: awesome!

  95. “What’s really more prevalent in advertising–model-thinness or moralizing against it? And which strategy more successfully stops brains and shrinks bank accounts? Evidence points to the latter. But who cares?”

    That’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. You obviously know NOTHING about advertising aimed at women. So perhaps you should take your own advice?

  96. And abc, I’ve figured it out. If Anna K is the ideal (5’8”, 123) she has a BMI of 18.7. Normal range is 18.5 to 24.9. So there you have it, you simply prefer women who are right on the border of normal and underweight. (Though since muscle weighs more than fat, perhaps serafina was right in that you really just like taught muscles.)

  97. Steve, I think as libertarians we should have a side-by-side shoot out to see which Hayek is tops.

    Courtesy of Glen Whitman, Assistant Professor of Economics at CSUN

    The Salma Hayek versus Friedrich Hayek Scorecard

  98. Well, I can probably be as shallow as the next guy, and I can even appreciate the “two balloons on a stick” body type, but I still think all the women in the ad campaign range from cute to bodaciously hot. I’ll take ’em all.

  99. perhaps it’s a measure of the current perception that “curves” is an instantly understood shorthand for “fat”…

  100. Only in the beauty industry would any woman who didn’t look like an overgrown 12 year-old boy be considered “fat”.

    It does not reflect well on American women that they’re so successfully targeted by an industry that respects them so little.

    As for the ads…well, they have good-looking women in their underwear, so I say “hurrah!”. 🙂

  101. I see a lot of delusional things written on this site, but Debord’s comment takes the cake.

    What’s more prevalent, skinny models of regular-sized models? Gee, that’s a tough one.

    And buddy, when I say I like big beautifal girls, it’s because I like big beautiful girls.

  102. joe,
    I’m with you. I would only add “tall,” so long as we’re designing here.

  103. joe likes big butts and he can’t deny!

  104. you libertoids can’t deny!

  105. 5’10” and wears an 8 or 10

    This is considered “flabby”??? I think Cleveland must measure its population on an entirely different scale. That sounds perfectly normal to me. Especially after having kids!

    Or, here’s an example: Lyndsey Lohan was super-hot about 18 months ago. Then she lost 20 pounds and she is horrifying.

    abc,

    If in your opinion someone can go from “super-hot” to “horrifying” over the loss or gain of 20 lbs., then I feel sorry for your wife. I mean, those are pretty exacting standards! Do you measure her food consumption with actual measuring cups and spoons? Geez…

    I’ve dated guys that fall anywhere in the range from “post-Auschwitz” -type figures (borderline anorexics) to “teddybears” (aka big guys). Not asking for a pat on the back from the PC police. Just sharing.

  106. On second thought, maybe the Dove models are Too Fat To Fuck.

  107. Well, I look at it this way…I don’t down the dove girls, simply because there is someone out there for everyone…some men like skinny anorexia women, medium size women, healthy women, full-figured women, fat women, and obese women. I was told by one man that he wasnt really interested in me because I didnt have enough meat on my bones…i do…at 5’9 162lbs…and that he prefered larger women…and he was skinny himself…strange, but true. So, there goes the theory that men prefer skinny or slender women.

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