So, this vintage ad has been making its way across the internet, but I don’t think it means what a lot of people think it means.
A friend of mine–a smart, talented, compassionate friend–even posted the ad to her wall and added the comment, “Love this.” I couldn’t disagree with her more.
It’s totally true that women and girls today are urged to be thin at any cost, whereas decades ago, women were urged to cultivate more “sexually appealing” curves by beefing up–but is one ideal actually better or healthier than the other? Hell, no! To me, this ad just illustrates the body hate and ridiculous pressure to conform that women of all shapes and sizes have faced over the decades.
Some girls are naturally curvy, and some are born with smaller frames. To call one size of woman more “fashionable” or “desirable” than another–no matter which size you’re talking about, is offensive and leaves an icky taste in my mouth.
I get it that there are a lot of people who judge curvier girls and women, saying they’re not pretty enough or . . . whatever enough–and that’s unfair–but it’s equally unfair and hateful for these same curvier girls to judge thinner women or to say (as one popular meme does) that Marilyn Monroe with her hour-glass figure was hotter than today’s lithe stars Kiera Knightley or Natalie Portman. Why the hate for KK and Nat? What did they ever do to you?!
How about, rather than continuing this stupid curvy vs. skinny debate, we start talking about what really makes a girl hot: confidence. Show me any girl, any size, who feels less than pretty–and I can guarantee that she won’t shine nearly as bright as another girl (again of any size) who can hold her head up high, loving who she is and what she looks like.
Body hate of all kinds, regardless of what ideal you’re promoting, keeps girls and women from being confident. And a lack of confidence is dangerous, because it keeps us from doing what we do best: running this big old world.
So, ladies, let’s give the snark a break. Don’t flip it. Don’t reverse it. Just toss it in the garbage–where this old ad belongs.
What do you think about this vintage ad? Do you think it promotes body hate, or do you like the message it sends? Do you ever feel like you get body hate from other people? Tell us everything in the comments!