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I Guess #ImNoAngel…Get Over It

So there’s this marketing campaign from Lane Bryant…I’m No Angel.

I saw this commercial on Discovery Life Channel.  I love it.  The women are sexy as hell and it makes the point that most of the women we see in advertising are not realistic and normal.  These are normal women.

Then I began reading articles about the campaign…as usual I also read the comments.  I’m a glutton for punishment and marketing is a part of my life so I always like to see how the public reacts to new campaigns.  There was a lot of support for the campaign as I expected.  There has been a slow movement towards pushing companies to make their advertising and models more realistic.  It’s even reflected in popular music now:

I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real, come on now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top (Meghan Trainer, “All About That Bass”)

Then I saw the comments from those that are stalling the much-needed change by complaining that “skinny-shaming is the same as fat-shaming.”

Let’s start with the fact that there is no skinny shaming in this commercial.  The advertisement is clearly calling out Victoria’s Secret and their Angels campaign (what they call their models).  That’s great.  There is nothing in that commercial that says, “being skinny is wrong or ugly.”  It simply says that these women who are much more normal and different in body shapes and sizes are beautiful and sexy.  They use Victoria’s Secret’s own campaign against them by saying, if that’s what an “angel” is then I’m no angel…but look at how sexy I am anyway.

Victoria's Secret "The Perfect Body" image

Victoria’s Secret’s idea of “The Perfect Body”

Lane Bryant's #ImNoAngel Models

Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel Models

Damn right.  It’s time to call out companies like Victoria’s Secret for perpetuating the idea that these overly-skinny models are the idea of perfection.  Even more distressing is that it has been shown that the images you see in advertisements and commercials are manipulated to make the women look even skinnier.

It’s a disgusting practice that has affected the expectations, mental, and physical health of our society.  Young women should not be working towards living up to the expectations that these companies set.  If the company has to be shamed using their own advertising campaign then so be it.  I hope the Victoria’s Secret angels don’t take it personally because even they know that their images are changed and manipulated and that even they don’t look like the finished products in reality.

Understand that I have nothing against a naturally skinny woman.  My cousin is just beginning her modeling career and she is very slim.  One thing I know about her is that it is natural.  I’ve been with her and seen her eating healthy. She does not starve herself and it is just how she is built.  That’s great.  Beauty is found in healthy women of all sizes and shapes.  As long as it is healthy and natural, a skinny woman is beautiful…the same is true with heavy women and all of the sizes and shapes in between.

This campaign comes out and says “This is our normal!  We will not be ashamed of it and if the unnatural ideal that you promote is “angelic” then we are no angels.  But we are every bit as beautiful and sexy and we will not apologize for pointing this out.”  We will never change the narrative about beauty in the media if we refuse to push back against the existing norms in advertising.  I for one am not sorry that some people are upset by what they perceive as shaming of unnaturally skinny models.  I refuse to coddle these people and pretend that we can make a change by just continuing to say, “everyone and everything is beautiful” while this stereotype is continuing to be pushed on women.  Maybe that what’s makes me no angel.  #ImNoAngel

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