Jann Arden tweeted the other day about British comedienne Sarah Millican being trashed for wearing a particular dress while making a presentation at the BAFTA Awards (similar to the Gemini’s in Canada and Emmy’s in the U.S.) that was deemed by the pond scum who think they are the last word in fashion to be unflattering. For those of you who are not familiar with Sarah Millicen, she’s brilliantly funny, self-deprecating, pretty and genuinely nice. What more is necessary? I’ve had the good fortune to catch her guesting a couple of times on The Graham Norton Show on BBC Canada and immediately loved her personality. Sarah is a size 18-20 which means she’s not model-thin. Why should anyone care and make her feel ashamed because she’s not a size 0. I suggest you read her essay in response through the link to her name in the first sentence of this post.
On a similar note, I currently have a clipping from the newspaper on my desk saying that the La Perla boutique in New York (they sell lingerie) has recently pulled a mannequin from their store following a negative backlash from customers about the unrealistic depiction of the female form represented by the mannequin. It showed protruding ribs and hip bones which certainly looks nothing like any real human woman I know here in the first world.
This continuation of promoting anorexic female bodies as being the ideal must stop. In response to La Perla’s faux pas, another lingerie manufacturer, Aerie has stepped up to the plate and promised to no longer Photoshop the models in their ads. That’s a step in the right direction but they could go one better by employing only models with real-life soft and curvy bodies rather than rail-thin bone bags with weird globe-shaped surgically-enhanced breasts.
Dove brand soap products has been lauding realistic women for more than a decade now but the list of companies using this marketing approach is miniscule. The internet makes it easy to target the offenders and most of us have computers or smart phones. When you’re unhappy with the media’s representation of women, make yourself heard. The customers of La Perla spoke up and got the attention of the manufacturer. Women like Sarah Millican deserve better and we should make our support heard. Some day, someone will listen. I can’t do this all by myself.