By what standards are we defining “big”?

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(via Clear Perspectives… what’s clear about their perspective is, as of yet… unclear)

Did I mention how much I hate modern advertising? Most of this hatred is due largely to the laughably ridiculous messages that corporations attempt to convince us of. Namely, that this woman has a big butt.

…I mean, compared to who, exactly?

Her?
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Or maybe her?
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Or maybe this woman, who was Photoshopped to hell and back, from the now infamous Ralph Lauren advertisements?
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Come the hell on now. Not only does the model in the advertisement not have a butt large enough that she should feel she needs to write a grammatically obnoxious mantra about, but no reasonable person would look at her butt and harbor the misguided notion that she’s saying something empowering to other women. That woman’s ass needs to be much larger for me to believe that, up until she wrote that stupid-ass poem, she felt some kind of disdain for the size of her ass.

It’s just not believable, and screams of the kind of commercialized 3rd-wave “empowerment” feminism that corporations who actually don’t give a shit about women are peddling to the tweens.

“Ladies, we know you’re pissed about being pressured to be 2 and a half pounds all the time, so let us show you a picture of a marginally thicker woman, slap it onto an empowering-sounding, sassy poem littered with intentional grammatical and spelling errors, and try to pass it off as risque! Now, will you please buy our shoes?”

No. Fuck off.

And also, if you want to talk about how great your fucking clothing is for people whom you apparently believe make up the majority of however you define “average-sized” women, you could at least try to make a size large enough to fit the model’s “big” butt, couldn’t you? I get a wedgie just looking at the picture.

h/t N.

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14 Responses to By what standards are we defining “big”?

  1. Danny says:

    Question. Is N still blogging because whenever I go to that link I just get a page of links? Or are you in contact with N through other means hence the h/t?

    • April says:

      He used to have a blog up on the site I link to, but he seems to have taken it down. We’re friends “in real life,” and we talk pretty regularly, so I’d like to give him credit when he occasionally send “blog fodder” my way since leaving ethecofem. You know, he had a blog up on the site just a few weeks ago… I wonder why he took it down. I’ll try to get to the bottom of it…

    • N says:

      Not blogging. I remain unconvinved my ill-considered opinion and heresy is worth publishing, or perhaps I don’t have the motivation to invest the time it would take to create what I would think would be a “good” blog. Furthermore I would have to settle on one of my many interests of which to write consistently about.

      That being said, unto the post! I like the sentiment of this advertisement, though clearly there is also merit to April’s assertions. Finally, does the fact that this is an advertisement for athleticware have any bearing on the discussion, i.e. big butt for an athlete vs big butt for a cubicle worker?

      Edited for typo.

    • April says:

      Finally, does the fact that this is an advertisement for athleticware have any bearing on the discussion, i.e. big butt for an athlete vs big butt for a cubicle worker?

      After I’d written the post, I regretted not saying something about the part of her “poem” that said “and ten thousand lunges has made it rounder.” With that sentence alone, she gives herself away. The person that we are supposed to believe is real and declaring that she will not apologize for the size of her ass fully intended her ass to look the way it did, and if she didn’t, she deliberately took all the steps necessary to get it there.

      I agree with other commenters– she’s got a hot body, and a large reason why her body is so hot is because she looks like she worked hard for it. Unfortunately, her “poem” appears to be written as a disingenuous apology to people who may not like it, even though those people do not actually exist, and that’s just bloody unrealistic, given the image accompanying the poem and the message it was clearly intended to have sent. It’s partially yet another cowardly attempt by advertising executives to expolit a cultural backlash, but without having the necessary guts to actually get behind it. To them, “people are concerned with what the constant stream of dangerously thin women in advertisements is doing to the health of young women” and “women are tired of being held to unrealistic body images and ideals that are causing real and tangible causalities all across Western society” means “if we just get a skinny Hispanic-looking chick with a slight bigger butt than what we usually see in Elle and Vogue to put her image behind some words that are slapped together to read “urban” or “empowered,” we can fulfill that quota and say that we are inclusive… and we’ll probably get some idiot 12 year olds to convince their parents to buy them some shoes, because they’ll look up to this imaginary person!”

  2. clarence says:

    Eh,

    Her butt is big compared to her body. Maybe it’s genetics or she has a wee bit of flab there. Who cares? She’s not fat- I consider her sexy as hell and I would not be complaining about her butt.

    That being said, you are right on about one thing: if they truly wanted to empower women in terms of body image they could have found a woman off the street who’d be 15 or 30 pounds heavier, and yet still pretty, and had HER deliver the message.

  3. Danny says:

    This is definitely another reason not to bother with mainstream ads like this (and also explains why I’m usually behind on products).

    …you could at least try to make a size large enough to fit the model’s “big” butt, couldn’t you? I get a wedgie just looking at the picture.
    I can only guess they did that in order to draw more attention to her butt.

    Personally I think she looks great.

    Clarence:
    …and had HER deliver the message.
    Or maybe had her deliver HER message. As in none of that prepared script crap. I mean find a woman who would want to do an ad like that and have her write her on message.

  4. Amazing Ralph Lauren ad! Her head really IS bigger than her waist!

  5. Jim says:

    DDH, you really have no mercy, do you?

    She has big legs, not a big butt, and it’s mostly from the way she is flexing her thigh muscles. Big fail. As Clarence points out, this women would have no problem getting noticed on the street.

    • April says:

      As Clarence points out, this women would have no problem getting noticed on the street.

      Precisely. Which is why I find this advertisement remarkably disingenuous. They must think that consumers everywhere are fucking morons.

    • Jim says:

      Isn’t it pretty obvious the whole fashion industry counts on that being true enough to make a pretty hefty living on? (And can you call Nike anything but a fashion label?)

  6. Lyndsay says:

    Maybe big compared to the rest of her body.

  7. Flutterby says:

    The fuck?! I have a similar body-to-butt proportion as the woman in that ad, and the only person to ever consider it big was my sister when she was 9, and that was only because she was used to her own figureless body and those of her prepubescent friends.

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