For a number of years, Wal-Mart has been featuring its employees and their
families as models in its
advertising fliers. The department store chain
saves money and gives some regular folks a chance at a little glory and
fame. Imagine yourself in a Wal-Mart flier, wearing a pair of $10
denim shorts from China, smiling like you just won an Academy Award. You’d
be the envy of your neighborhood. They may even organize a parade for
But aside from the obvious goodwill created by the Wal-Mart
program, there’s a more significant benefit for society. I realized
this recently while thumbing through a flier, gazing at models such as
Sheila, manager of the garden center, and Vanessa, sister of Florinda,
assistant manager. I’m so used to seeing professional models and
found myself thinking, "Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it. Some of these women have hips."
I actually thought that hips were out of
style. Professional models, even those in department store fliers, haven’t
had hips since at least 1964. And as their hips disappeared, that extra
weight somehow moved all the way up to their chests.
It’s amazing the
type of body you can create through the delicate combination of
plastic surgery and starvation. Some models today are so skinny, they’d
probably gain a few pounds just by kissing, say, Bill Clinton. A few
pounds and a few nice gifts.
I don’t know about you, but an
emaciated body is not my idea of attractive. If I were dating such a
woman, I wouldn’t be able to eat. I’d feel too guilty.
models aren’t the only women who desperately need to be fed. I
keep picturing Sally Struthers in a new television ad, saying, "Please
take a few moments to think about all the people who are starving to
death, while you’re having your 13th slice of pizza. For just 70 cents a
day, the cost of a cup of coffee, you can help feed some of them. If you
call right now and pledge just $21 a month, we’ll send a few life-saving
snacks to the starving women from the television show ‘Friends.’ Please
I’d be the first to call. I’d pledge not just
my money, but also my energy. Yes, if given the chance, I’d be willing to
feed Jennifer Aniston personally. That’s how much I care about eradicating
Have you seen Aniston and Courtney Cox recently?
They’re wasting away. Who’s in charge of feeding them? Twiggy?
If this continues, medical students will be able to watch
Aniston’s movies just to study the movements of the human skeleton. "Oh
my gosh," the male students will say. "Jennifer Aniston has such a cute
fibula! Look at the way it stretches across her tibia. That woman has such
This is a serious situation and not just because some of
these actresses may collapse in hunger. These stars are role models to
teen-age and preteen girls who could develop eating disorders while
trying to emulate their idols. They’re getting the wrong message from
television and advertising, a message that says, "It’s cool to look like a
stick. You’ll be attractive to men and you’ll never have to spend
another cent on X-rays."
Teen-age girls would be better off
looking through a Wal-Mart flier. They’d see what typical women look like.
They have hips and you can’t see their bones. And you know what? They look