Thursday, April 23, 2009

What the Weight GAIN Ad?

Rachel over at the F-Word wrote a fabulous blog about old commercial ads from decades ago that were encouraging women to G A I N weight. I found this mind-blowing, and absolutely had to check it out to see if it was true – were women in our society ever actually encouraged to gain weight, and not just lose? And yes, we were. ‘Tis true, my good friends.

I was looking through the ads, and giggling, because I couldn’t believe my eyes. You won’t be popular if you’re skinny? You can’t catch a man if you’re too skinny? How much our culture has changed! (And what's ridiculous; if you look at the ads of these women who have supposedly gained weight off the product they're trying to sell; they're not big at all - in fact, they're quite thin!)

And at first, I thought that yeah, our culture’s view of women has gotten worse, because most people think that a woman is beautiful only if she is too underweight, and sick, or toned with no fat at all on them. But then I kept thinking…it’s just as unhealthy to encourage people to gain weight if they don’t need to, and what I found even more disheartening was that it seems there was NEVER a time in our culture when women were just…okay. Okay as we were, as our bodies were. We’ve always been pushed to change change change you’re not good enough as you are so do something about it so you can be popular and fat or skinny and people will like you and you can find a man to support you and love you and take care of you because apparently that’s the only thing you’re good for so get moving, get changing, you’re not good enough just as you are gogogo.

It’s actually pretty sad, isn’t it? Here are two of the ads I saw, but please check out her post to read all of them, and she also has detailed descriptions below them, telling you what the whole ad says if the print is too small to read them here. It’s really worth a look.

Which is more damaging? I’m in awe at how much our society has changed. America really sucks in this regard. Seriously.

12 comments:

kristin said...

No..way.. I wouldn't have believed it. I can still hardly believe it. I guess back in the day I would probably be about right.

Take care, Brie.

love, kristin

Lisa said...

It's not just our bodies. We can't be too strong or too submissive, we can't have jobs and we can't be housefraus, we can't be childless and we can't be mothers. We are inherently flawed, and if I went into all the anthropology I've read on this y'all's heads would burst from boredom.

Women are always supposed to MEAN something. It's an unfair burden.

Courtney said...

Wow. This hits right at the core of something I've been thinking about a lot lately--that no matter what I do it's never enough. I often blame myself for thinking that way, I mean we all know the power of positive thinking, right? But things like this remind me that we live in a world that really has TRAINED us to feel like we're never. just. ok. Thanks for posting this!

Pattie Cordova said...

Lindsay Lohan needs this right about now...

how about just being healthy and confident... why isn't that ever enough?

lisalisa said...

this makes me wonder what the new pressure will be when my daughters are grown! Good grief!

Kara said...

Can't we all just be who we already are?

susana said...

I stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago. I think that with Michelle Obama now on the world stage, we will witness a complete shift in how society views beauty, health and body image.

Penny said...

So totally interesting. I am old enough to remember a little of all that. Remember that Marilyn Monroe was "larger and curvier" than today's women but what I remmeber about her was that she was criticized for being a "bottle" blonde. So your readers are right: Women are always judged about one thing or another and I wish that , that could be changed.

HAFC said...

Wow. How are we ever going to just be plain Okay????? It's kinda scary how our society has conditioned us. Let's all rebel!

... said...

Advertising/corporations in general must make people feel insecure so they will want to buy the product. In order to sell someone eyebrow waxing strips, you must first make someone feel insecure about their eyebrows or feel they aren't good enough as is. Same with everything else.

Telstaar said...

Oh my, I am currently pushing hard against change, I feel like such a chameleon, always changing for others...I lose myself in there somehow. I wonder how many people lose themselves in trying to change to "fit" in culture. Thats an awfully sad thought for diversity and God's cool designs of humanity.

xoxo

Brooke said...

Society really does impact our thinking. Media sucks! However, I actually would rather have lived back when those ads were posted. Less pressure. However, as I look at the ads closer, the models are both really thin still. Makes no sense :)

Cool post sis.