Searching for a “real” woman

DoveAd

Does a woman have to be ultra-slim to be beautiful? Of course not, as this photo from Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty shows. It also shows that a beautiful woman doesn't have to be white, doesn't have to be young and doesn't have to have feet.

We may see more women like these in ads, especially if advertisers pay attention to new research and stop drooling over that runway model who once surprised her boyfriend by popping out of the toaster.

The advertising
world's perennial reliance on young, white and extremely thin models
has long faced criticism from feminists and health campaigners. Now,
new research at a leading UK business school suggests it might be doing
something else: harming companies' balance sheets.

In what is believed to be the first such global survey of female consumers' attitudes, the research says women respond more favourably to a brand if the models it uses somehow mirror their own identities.

Advertisers
cannot, however, simply enlist a few fuller-figured models, says Ben
Barry, who is carrying out the research at Cambridge University's Judge
business school: "In general, people have a more favourable reaction to
brands that show models who represent people's age, size and
background.

"It's not necessarily enough to show one component
which is similar – people really wanted to see someone who represents
them in all three factors." [Link]

Yeah, but there are so many ages, sizes and backgrounds. Even if an ad features the "real" women in the picture above, there'd still be lots of other "real" women who wouldn't be represented.

For example, I don't see a woman with lots of extra baggage.

Baggage

I don't see a woman with a large figure. 

Woman-hand

And I don't see a woman with a big ass.

Woman-donkey

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Comments

  1. Great examples, indeed!

  2. pictures at the end of your blog made me smile, thank you. 🙂

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