Though Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” was released in 1992, for some reason it has taken more than 20 years for a major advertising campaign to pick up on something that regular men have known for many, many years: that most prefer curvaceous women.
The Lane Bryant “I’m No Angel” effort, which purposely pokes fun at the Victoria’s Secret Angel lingerie line and advertising, is finally putting out the message that red-blooded American men actually don’t want their ladies to look like Barbie Dolls.
— Independent Voices (@IndyVoices) April 9, 2015
Who actually fantasizes about or wants to date super-skinny, malnourished-looking and attitude-having supermodels anyway? Such advertising sends a terrible message to girls and young women and adds an unnecessary pressure of obsessing about weight. Putting some of the sexiest women in history — Marilyn Monroe is just one example of a full-figured super-sexy gal — in an ad campaign like Lane Bryant is doing is a positive step in the right direction for both women who could never fit into those tiny boxes or sizes and men who really do like the natural beauty of women that come in all shapes and sizes.
In the plus-size clothing label advertisements — and I’m no fashion expert, but these women should probably really not be called that — one model declares, “How boring would it be if we all were the same?” This is the true spirit of embracing diversity in women and well overdue.
Thanks in part to the huge success of the Joan Harris character on “Mad Men”, played amazingly by the super-hot and sexy Christina Hendricks, it seems many men and women are now embracing the curvy-is-better standard. Where and when did the ideal of feminine beauty become waif-thin, knocked-over-by-a-stiff-breeze models?
— ABC News (@ABC) April 8, 2015
Likely due to Madison Avenue geniuses who influence what women wear, the makeup they choose and what most people see as truly beautiful, we have lost our way when it comes to embracing natural sexiness.
Read more: Curves Are Here to Stay
Tess Holliday, a plus-size model with more than 400,00 Instagram followers who has been absolutely outspoken in her defense of her full figure, is one such beacon. And we thank Holliday for being both a real figure and for speaking out. Whatever Ivory Tower boardroom or ad agency that came up with the insulting and sexist Victoria’s Secret advertising while undertaking the “Perfect Body” campaign should have thought better of it and scrapped the idea to the trash bin.
Additionally, why would any clothing company want to solely market bras and panties to such a narrow swath of customers? Not only is bigger often better, most women don’t look anything like the models in those advertisements. Marketing and fashion businesses that want to increase market share while symbolically proclaiming a feminine ideal that maybe one in 10 women actually fit into make no sense.
I’m not scoffing at skinny. Some of the most beautiful women on the planet are tall and statuesque, but it just surprising that it’s taken this long for the message Sir Mix-a-Lot proclaimed from atop a derriere to sink into the hard heads of advertising people. There must be inertia toward the mean. The majority of women should have been celebrated long ago.
Most men realize we’re not perfect. At least speaking for the not self-obsessed regular, un-metrosexuals among us. And what is that ideal of beauty anyway? It is only a phony, square-jawed Sean Connery or stone face Brian Williams measure.
Real men know no one is perfect, and to be happy in life, we embrace our irregularities, quirks and realistic versions of ourselves. Lane Bryant’s advertising makes business sense, and a clothing line that reflects the way a majority of women actually look was long overdue.
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.