Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tidbits for Women

MESSAGE from the blogger: I’ll be taking a hiatus from my regular posting for awhile, beginning next weekend. Catch you again sometime in late June or July.

The April 13 issue of Advertising Age carried a number of interesting tidbits about women that caught my attention. I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence that they all ended up in the same issue, or if that assemblage was intentional on the part of the editors. Whatever the reason, I’m sharing them here.

The cover of Golf Digest’s Fitness & Power Issue featured a half-naked Lexi Thompson, a professional golfer. A drying towel is draped strategically around her neck. Ms. Thompson was so proud of her cover girl status that she tweeted about it, saying she was “pumped to represent fitness & power. #girlpower”

Shaunna Taylor, co-chair of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association took exception, tweeting that an “unnecessarily topless cover photo is not… empowering to the women’s game.” Though my husband and I now live on a TPC golf course, I don’t feel informed enough to weigh in on this issue. I just hope I don’t see Lexi golfing half-naked on the fairway behind us one day.

Lane Bryant, the marketer of clothes size 14 to 28, has a new ad campaign for “real women” (à la Dove soap). In the print ad, the tag line #ImNoAngel is superimposed over a group of plus size models in sexy bras and panties. There’s a TV version as well. Way to go, LB girls! The idea pokes fun at the popular Victoria’s Secret campaign that features rake thin models wearing scanty lingerie, feathered wings and smiles. Can’t wait ‘til someone does a similar ad featuring seniors with silver wings and golden halos.

Speaking of rake thin models, the government of France is considering a law that will impose fines of up to $82,000 on clothing designers who use emaciated models. Since most runway ladies would qualify as emaciated IMHO, I’m not sure how the French define that term.  Additionally, using these stick figures can result in up to six months of jail time. Finally, if the ads for those clothiers have been Photoshopped to make the babes look more Twiggy-like, this needs to be disclosed (not sure to whom). All together now: Vive la France!

On the opposite side of the world, the ad consortium Grey Group Singapore has partnered with Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Centre on a program that is focused on women’s health. They’re providing women in rural India with bindis that are designed to dispense iodine. Iodine deficiency is a major problem in that part of the world. The bindi is a traditional adornment for these women, making it a practical solution. The campaign is called “Life-Saving Dot.” Score one for the creative and culturally sensitive use of resources.

What strikes me most about these four media items is the scope of the information. We go from covers that reflect male chauvinistic attitudes to efforts to lift up real women to programs to improve women’s health in disadvantaged areas of the world. I suppose women should be grateful that only one of the four pieces objectified a woman and that at least one of the four addressed a serious health issue in a creative way. Baby steps, but worth celebrating nonetheless.

Here’s to women everywhere, whatever their shape or age, no matter where they call home. This seems like a good note to end on before my blogging break.

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