Some of you may remember this ad campaign from several years back by Dove, maker of soaps, shampoos and creams. Although manufacturers of beauty products have long focused on women's aspirations rather than their realities, Dove boldly sought to acknowledge women as they are. And apparently by all accounts, this campaign, featuring women considered far too fat, flat chested, lumpy, and misproportioned by the typical advertiser, was a big success.
Fast forward five years. This week, the billboards of Paris have been saturated by a new ad campaign by Levi's introducing Curve ID, three different cuts of skinny jeans. (For the record, the cuts are bold curve, demi curve, and slight curve.) Although I applaud their acknowledgement that not all women are built alike, I'm having a hard time going any further in that. The notion that these three rail thin leggy models exemplify the range of womankind is at best laughable, at worst truly insulting. As I'm far too old, short, and stumpy to even consider skinny jeans for myself, I'm trying not to take it personally. But as for the young women of Paris? My best advice is to avert your eyes and celebrate yourself no matter whether you can fit into a pair of these or not.