Advertising a skinny body, deteriorating a feminist future

Jackie Wallace, Editorials Editor

Advertisements play a large role in how our society defines different styles of beauty. Body shape or appearance are two of the main topics discussed in the news lately. For example, ideas such as “thinspiration” or the conception of thigh gap are the most discussed goals of women on the Internet. In comparison, the 1950’s angle of propaganda was based on weight gain supplements. The constant bodily comparisons will eventually destroy how women can stay empowered and confident.

The standards of how women should look should be blamed on magazines of famous and most developed magazine company Conde Nast. Most fashion magazines are published by Conde Nast, such as Vogue, Allure, Glamour, GQ and Vanity Fair. Women should not rely on standards of fashion trends because their [the company] goal is not to give closure and confidence to the consumer. Most of the companies edit photos because most of the advertisements come from high-end fashion lines that thrive off of fashion perfection. The magazines need a profit, and one of the key marketing techniques all of these companies follow is finding ways to make women seem imperfect by trying “50 new ways for your boyfriend to love you again” or “7 fruits that magically get rid of your love-handles.” The fact of the matter is that none of this stuff works and it is only a run-for-your-money ordeal.

In the 1950’s, the idea of being skinny was considered unhealthy. Products such as weight gaining yeast enhancements were meant for women to gain weight and portrayed as the only route to men falling for a women. The vintage 1950’s advertisement had men saying “You’re gorgeous since you’ve gained weight!” What makes it okay for men to be able to tell us how we should look? Shouldn’t I find closure in how I look, not by your opinion from the look of my body? The methodology of how to advertise based solely on persuasion and profitability.

By retouching the photos of young 20-year-old women, the teenage girl is going to idolize her, the 20 year old is going to try to compare her imperfections, and the mother of two is going to wish that she did something different to be just like the lady on the front cover. Women cannot compare themselves to this kind of standard because it is not true. It is like standing in front of a circus mirror. The reflection is still you, but it definitely is not how a woman should feel.

The way women perceive the “ideal” image these days is fed off lack of confidence. Roughly, a size 8 or 10 was ideal for the average woman in 2000’s and now, being a size 6 can be considered plus size for some clothing manufacturers. The manifestation of fashion and fad is higher than ever. For example, the almost black lipstick Lorde is wearing would only be seen on an episode of The Adams Family ten years ago. So the evolution of body size too will eventually fade, but the confidence women lose when convinced they are not perfect enough never will.

To effectively have women empowering society starts immediately at the source. The information that these women are receiving is not from all of their friends. It is the advertisements and television shows. A way to prevent this conflict is producing untouched photos in magazines and commercials. The standard model is assumed to be a 34-24-34, which translates to the size of the bust, waist and hips. So what happens to the girl that has a 26 or 29 size waist or 38 inch bust? Statistically, that individual is no longer favorable to the fashion world and is look frowned upon for her individuality. Most of these women are also doing this for pay, and spent countless time struggling to stay thin. Role models should be fashion models too. Have the girl who works 60 hours a week in the hospital be a model, or the law student who spends hours studying instead of slaving over unrealistic social standards. These are the type of people who should be who women look up to. The ones who are motivated outside of just how they look, it is all about how we should feel as empowering women instead of not feeling comfortable about our body shape.