In the spirit of the Supermodel Astronaut Challenge where we called on women and girls to embrace the truth "I Am Enough", today's blog is a plea to Vera Wang and the rest of the fashion industry to join the rest of us in rejecting ridiculous beauty standards.
I was waiting to see something on YouTube and this Vera Wang advertisement came up. For a few seconds, I was mindlessly waiting for the "skip ad" button to pop up, and then my brain got hijacked at the alarming selection of models they used in this ad. I couldn't stop watching, but not because of the beautiful dresses. You watch the video above and tell me what you see. Go ahead, I'll wait...
Yes... they are all white. Yes, it would be nice if they were more representative of some of the other stunningly beautiful races of women in the world. But what truly alarms me is that we STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN PAST using models who look anorexic. Seriously! This sets off alarm bells in my brain when I see this and it should for you too.
Have we still not grown out of this ridiculous phase? I don't expect this one little blog entry to reach the awareness of Vera Wang herself, but if you have a woman or girl in your life who you LOVE, and who you would like to have a healthy body image, please spread the word that this advertising approach NEEDS TO STOP!!!
I mean, LOOK at these woman. No wonder they're all limp and lethargic, they probably have zero energy and couldn't lift a humanely raised antibiotic free artisanal cheeseburger to their lips if they tried. I was underweight in my early adult years when I had several food allergies and I remember waking up hungry multiple times every single night. I felt terrible. Nothing I ate seemed to fill me up or stick to my ribs. I'd never want to go back, even though I was "model thin" and other woman were frequently borderline hostile toward me about it. I wouldn't wish that weak and always hungry feeling on anyone.
It's ridiculous that these are the images to which we as a culture have become desensitized to the point that this is accepted as normal and not even questioned. We should all have a visceral response to ad images like this, but we usually don't.
When women feel pressured to unnaturally force themselves toward such unhealthy physical states, they are not able to live life to its fullest. They can't be their best version of themselves. As I wrote in my Supermodel Astronaut Manifesto: "...when we give so much mental and emotional energy to the pressures of what we SHOULD achieve, how we SHOULD look, and how we SHOULD feel, it INVALIDATES what we DO achieve, how we DO look, and how we DO feel. Think about that for a moment. If much of our focus is on who we think we SHOULD be, it completely cancels out the joy of celebrating who we ARE."
If you think these advertising images are no big deal, take a few minutes and go to Twitter or Instagram. Search for the hash tags #proana #thinspo and #thighgap just to start. See what people are posting. Young women are damaging themselves over these unhealthy notions and it's tragic. This has to stop.
If you agree with this point of view, please tweet this, post this, share this, and tag Vera Wang and any other fashion industry entities that come to mind. On Twitter and Instagram, it's @VeraWangGang and here is the Facebook page. And if you want to email them, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let them know that these unrealistic beauty standards are damaging to women and girls, and they need to take responsibility for what they put into the media.
Here is the page for this fashion campaign.
Seriously... aren't we past this yet?!
P.S. What's THIS about?? #fatalattraction