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Caption This | Main | Casting News

August 10, 2005

Mags Show Real Bodies

Mixed among the pages of dazzling celebrities and rail-thin models that dominate fashion and teen magazines is a surprising sight: young women with thicker thighs and flabbier abs.

In Seventeen, Teen People, CosmoGirl! and Teen Vogue are bathing suit sections partly illustrated by less-than-perfect figures and tips on maximizing assets and minimizing defects.

Editors say they are using more average women and fewer models to reflect changing body types and to help self-conscious teens see that not everyone is perfect.

"It's not going to help my reader if we only show girls who are size 6's," said Atoosa Rubenstein, editor of Seventeen magazine. "Everyone is beautiful, it's just a matter of confidence, and we try to show that."

Dove recently started an ad campaign featuring "real" women - ranging from size 6 to 14 - that shows them wearing only bras, panties and big smiles on billboards, bus stops and trains in Chicago, New York, and other cities. The ads are designed to sell products from Dove's firming collection - lotions and creams meant to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

--I'm curious as to what you guys think about this. A friend of mine and I were discussing this trend not too long ago, and SHE said that SHE doesn't like the trend. SHE said, "I realize that the models don't represent the vast majority of women. But personally, I'd rather look at good looking people." Thoughts?

Posted by Lawren at August 10, 2005 08:50 AM | Trackbacks (0)

You Said

"Big girls need love too, so go on big momma, whatch goin do."

Says: Ludacris at August 10, 2005 09:39 AM

I like the idea of "real" women models. I hate looking at articles about how to dress around figure flaws with stick thin modles. Of course that suit looks good on them! They have 0% body fat!

Says: Kelly at August 10, 2005 09:46 AM

As the parent of two daughters, ages 8 and 11, I am all for real women in the magazines. Both of my girls are already obsessed about being thin, and I totally blame it on tv and advertisements. They are teaching our youth unrealistic expectations - not to mention rushing them out of childhood.

Says: swankygirl at August 10, 2005 09:52 AM

I think your friend's statement says a lot about how society dictates beauty. I think there are plenty of people who are beautiful that don't fit the ideal model body (which I happen to think looks like a 12-year old boy). I think the campaigns are great. Eating disorders and self-esteem issues have been perpetuated by the media, especially in the last 20 years. On the other hand, obesity is a bigger problem than ever, so while I think the new models should reflect realistic beauty - I also think they should look healthy (well-fed, but not over-fed).

Says: at August 10, 2005 10:10 AM

So you think that society in general (at least males) have the taste of homosexual child molesters if they like models?

Thats a pretty hardcore opinion.

Says: at August 10, 2005 10:40 AM

The problem isn't showing ONLY Size 6's it is the fact so many of the models used are less than that.

What is beautiful? Is it a case that our tastes have changed over time or simply what is presented as beautiful has changed over time? Marilyn Monroe was/is a beautiful woman, but would she get the time of day out of Hollywood is she started today? Is the "plus sized model" Emme not beautiful because she's around 180lbs or so? The Old Masters such as Titian and Rubens used to paint to our modern eyes would appear to be very chubby to downright fat women.

I suspect beauty has a far wider range than Madison Ave is willing to admit. It is a shame we as a society seem reluctant to admit that as well.

You're friends comment is both inciteful and narrowly rude. She's smart enough to know advertisers are not representing reality, yet she appears to think "good looking people" don't exist above a Size 6.

Says: Brian D. at August 10, 2005 10:51 AM

I like the idea of using multiple sized models, however, I'm afraid that America has embraced it's confirmed reputation as being the fattest group of people in the history of mankind. Obesity is not just about's deadly and often handicaps a person before it kills them. I'd like to see models who wear between a size 6 and size 12. Most women in those sizes would not be skinny or fat.

Says: Nanc' at August 10, 2005 10:53 AM

I really like the Dove campaign.

I understand what your friend is saying, but I honestly don't have a single, idealized view of what's attractive. One of the things I find attractive in women's looks are the differences. Some are curvy, some aren't. Some are tall, some aren't.

It's the imperfections, in my view, that lend themselves to making someone attractive.

That's why the current trend of teen-age girls getting boob jobs is so sad.

I'm not down with the Fembotization of the world.

Says: Kevvy the Unnamed Source at August 10, 2005 02:02 PM

FWIW, I enjoy seeing models that are in shape, regardless of size.

Says: Chrees at August 10, 2005 03:33 PM

I agree with your friend 100%. Fashion is fantasy and the models in the magazine layouts are part of the illusion. Why would I want to see fat/old women in a fashion magazine when I see them everywhere else I look?

Says: RB at August 10, 2005 04:19 PM

The Dove campaign and others who have showed "real women" (title 9 catalog) don't pick ugly women. Their skin is still perfect, there hair is still lush.
The Dove women don't have visible signs of cellulite or sagging skin.
I agree with your friend in saying that I would rather look at good looking people. But I feel strongly that good looking people come in multiple sizes that is below 6 and above 8.

Says: Lynne at August 10, 2005 06:33 PM

Just looked at your blog for the 1st time today, L. And yep, that was me. And i stand by my statement. I'm just saying, if I'm flipping through a fashion mag and come across a picture of Heidi Klum, or Gisele, and next to it is a pic of one of the Dove models, I'd rather look at the one of Heidi. If for no other reason, it's just more visually appealing to me. Just being honest.

Says: Christina at August 10, 2005 09:24 PM

I agree with the statement that "real" people shouldn't
be in ads. That is not inspiring to me. Tell your friend that she is a genius. Tell Brian to get over his PC BS. She is just saying what everyone is thinking.

Says: Fun Bobby at August 10, 2005 11:44 PM

We all want to look at good looking people. But just because you aren't an emaciated supermodel doesn't mean you aren't good looking.

Plus I'm waiting for the turn around in medicine where they focus on how unhealthy it is to be too skinny.

Says: Andrea at August 11, 2005 06:59 AM

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