Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The bottom line, apparently: Skinny, emaciated women sell stuff

Ever wonder why normal-sized, beautiful women put up with all of those high-fashion ads which seem to worship 78-pound skin-and-bones models? Apparently the reason is that ads featuring those models sell more stuff than ads featuring beautiful, normally-portioned females. Go figure.

A study conducted by business professors at Villanova University and at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ, formerly Trenton State College) found that ads that featured these undernourished waifs actually made women feel worse about themselves, but, astoundingly, worked better at selling the advertiser's product. The study was reported in the July 30 issue of AdvertisingAge.

How could that be? An ad that makes you feel rotten about yourself makes you buy more stuff from the company that has just, in effect, insulted you?

"The really interesting result we're seeing across multiple studies is that these thin models make women feel bad, but they like it," said Jeremy Kees, a business professor at Villanova.

Again, astounding.

But perhaps there is a glimmer of hope for us as a species after all.

The same story tells us that the now famous Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has already reached 4.5 million people. A Dove spokesperson hits the nail on the head as far as I am concerned.

His quote: "We believe women have the right to feel comfortable with their bodies and not suffer from lack of self-esteem brought on by images of excessive slimness."

What do YOU think? I'd be very interested in hearing opinions on the subject.

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