Remember those Dove ads featuring "real women" having curves?
Those ads always bugged the shit out of me. I remember when the BART stations were full of them. First of all, there's just the akwardness of seeing all these women standing around in their underwear. Normally, models in ads are "high gloss" enough they don't strike me as really real people. But these women did, which I guess was the whole point of the campaign. But if the women are in fact so damn real, what the fuck are they doing standing around a BART station in their undies? That's not exactly real.
And so many people were falling all over themselves praising Dove for using "real people" that they overlooked the fact that the product they were selling was A, designed to cater to the same insecurities that all other cosmetic products cater to, and B, pure crap that did not actually do what it purported to do. (A topical cream that can remove cellulite? Anything that could do that, I assure you you don't want to be smearing it on your body.)
What brings this up? Apparently, some NOW conference bestowed an award on the ad agency that did these ads. Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon reports on this, and seems to share my dismay:
We ["the row of young feminists with their laptops open"] were all a little miffed that NOW would give marketers an award for helping women’s self-esteem when they’re selling cellulite cream, which both implies that there’s something irredeemably foul about having your skin actually attached to the fatty tissue underneath, and has the added benefit of being pure snake oil. It doesn’t work, people. Spend your money on something else.