I recently discovered the blog Elements of Style and have been loving what I’ve seen. Before this weekend, my favorite post was titled Fashion Friday: Olivia Pope. It’s Handled. After all, I would dress like Olivia Pope every day if it wouldn’t get me weird looks at elementary school pick up and the basketball bleachers.
This weekend, though, I discovered Erin’s post titled A New Low about the above ad that runs in February’s Harpers Bazaar. If you haven’t seen Erin’s post, do go read it because she shares many wise words.
I truly don’t know that I have the words to express how this ad makes me feel. As a woman and more importantly as the mother of two girls, I find this ad to be disgusting. I don’t know exactly what has to take place for an ad to be placed in a magazine but I suspect that more than a handful of people are involved in it’s creation and execution. The fact that even one person would think it was appropriate to run this ad is stunning to me.
I know there are people who are naturally very skinny. I was called ‘green bean’ as a child and I have a daughter who could easily be called the same. That said, the woman pictured above does not remind me of a green bean. If I was with her, I would not call her cute pet names. I would drive her to the nearest eating disorder clinic as soon as I could.
And until society stops admiring unobtainable thinness, these eating disorder clinics will be full to capacity. Until magazines stop celebrating a female form that looks sick and starving, I will have to worry about my girls each and every time they look in a mirror. Will they be comparing their beautiful selves to an image like this? And if they decide that ‘thin’ is the goal, will this be their definition of thin?
As one woman and one mother, I feel helpless against the tide of society. For now, all I can do is write about this wrong and hope that others will read these words and remember the pressures that are put on our girls each and every day. And while we remember, let’s remind our girls of what is real and what is beautiful.