Wasn’t there a Calvin Klein ad where the guy bites the edge of his trim partner’s panty? Ironically, the Botox and implant industries are thriving. So, isn’t there some dissonance here - the advertising agencies and designers on one side and the cosmetic surgery and boob vanity industries on the other?
Therefore, it came as a surprise that a lingerie ad has been banned from mainstream American channels because it has a plus-sized model.
Lane Bryant, the manufacturing company, has said, “ABC and Fox have made the decision to define beauty for you by denying our new, groundbreaking Cacique commercial from airing freely on their networks.”
There is nothing groundbreaking here. I have seen it and while the model is busty and she does strike a few sexy poses, which are mandatory in lingerie ads, and are quite happily shown in promos for cars, colas and icecreams where they are not, it is pretty routine stuff. Unless you get excited by a voiceover that says, “Mom always said beauty is skin deep. Somehow, I don’t think this is what Mom had in mind.”
To be honest, the model does not look like she is thinking about her mom at that moment. In fact, she is not thinking about anything but herself. It is at best self-love and at worst lingerie that you might want to take off rather than wear. I know 25 seconds are not good enough to judge a product, but that is good enough time to judge a bad idea.
Had the channels objected to it on grounds of poor quality, one would have understood. It is too self-conscious. Undergarments are meant to enhance and support. That they add to a woman’s sex appeal should make manufacturers sensitive to different types rather than getting into the big and small battle.
Fox apparently wanted the ad edited and finally relented and carried it. ABC remained resistant to DD.
Are these channels truly defining beauty for us? If that were so then Pamela Anderson ought to be banned. Reruns of films featuring Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Lauren, Elizabeth Taylor, Raquel Welch should not to be permitted. And please do not telecast images of those spilling out of their designer threads on the the red carpet.
Both sides are taking moral positions for a part of the female anatomy. The bra guys are saying, “Our new commercials represent the sensuality of the curvy woman who has more to show the world than the typical waif-like lingerie model.”
More to show the world? Isn’t the lingerie for her? If the channels are indeed promoting the waif-like models, then they will talk about less to show. In all this there is the issue about portraying the ‘normal’ woman. Does anyone know what a normal woman is, or what her breasts are like? In a room there will be several normal women doing normal things and they could well be differently built, just as they would have different eyes, noses, mouths and ways to express themselves.
Each time new products are launched a normal woman is brought out of the closet and only those in charge seem to be privy to this character’s normalcy.
If a woman starves herself to fit into a pair of handkerchiefs, then she might think it is the most normal thing to do. A woman who decides to get herself pumped up because that makes her feel confident would think of it as normal. Then there are people who are comfortable with their bodies and genetically built in certain ways – skinny or big or medium.
If those looking at them have certain preferences or fetishes, then one may wish to measure their level of normalcy too. The bosom, like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder.