Regular Doses of Common Sense™

Critics Complain About Blue Jean Ad Models

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Jeans maker Levi Strauss is coming under fire for a series of ads promoting a relatively new brand of jeans designed to spotlight “curves” in women of all sizes, yet feature, according to critics, only skinny supermodel types.

The ads showcase the brand’s Curve ID Jeans, and come with messages like “Hotness comes in all shapes and sizes.”

Behavioral experts worry that women who aren’t able to wear those smaller sizes could suffer self-esteem issues because others of their size aren’t featured in the ads. Copyranter, an advertising watchdog blog calls the campaign “an insult to women size six and over.”

Here’s a little dose of common sense for these experts: the majority of people who are too “big” to be featured in your typical clothing ad are already dealing with self-esteem issues. And pointing fingers at some advertisement for blue jeans isn’t accomplishing anything.

If the ads never existed, overweight people would still be sensitive about their weight, because they live in a society that wants to see more of people who aren’t overweight.

That’s the way it is. Almost no one wants to be overweight, but we still keep packing as much food in our mouths as we can. In between meals with portion sizes all out of whack, we lament our inability to fit into anything “cool” or “hip.” And here’s the real irony: for some of us, we get depressed about not looking how we want, and respond by eating more.

A better example of a self-fulfilling prophecy I cannot find.

And frankly, in my male perspective, I don’t want to see oversized clothing models in ads. I don’t want people to accept the fact that being overweight is acceptable. It shouldn’t be. And if I see people making it look like it’s okay to be fat, I will certainly allow myself to fall into that same trap. And that’s not going to help my already-strained waistline or my health.

As a guy, what’s going to make me want to buy clothes is a good looking guy who’s in shape and looks good in the clothes. That will make me feel like I at least have a shot at looking decent in them. If I see “plus-sized” guys — in my day, we referred to them as “husky” — modeling clothes, there’s some part of my brain that’s going to convince me that those clothes will make me look out of shape.

No matter how out of shape I might already be.

Don’t believe me?  Just pick up a copy of GQ and look at all of the men’s clothing ads in there.  How many beer guts do you see?

Those of us who carry extra pounds need to stop obsessing about what ads aren’t showing and focus that energy on making ourselves look like we belong in those ads, too.

Our bodies would be better off for that shift of thinking.

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3 Comments on "Critics Complain About Blue Jean Ad Models"

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Those seem rather tame compared to the Carl Jr’s and Hardee’s commercials. I have stopped eating at those restaurants due to those commercials, which really go too far.

If you want a good chuckle over mens clothing not being portrayed well, get the King’s Big & Tall Men’s catalogue. They sell shirts up to a 7X (my father is 6’4″, 340lbs (far too big) and takes a 3X, so you create the image of a 7X in your mind…) but the men modeling the clothing are anything but husky. They only show the TALL side of the clothing lines. And let’s face it – no one wants to see the man that fits in a 7X under ANY circumstances. We just don’t.   And don’t be fooled by… Read more »

Fair enough, but while you won’t see any beer guts on models for men’s clothing, I’ll betcha you’ll also never see any men looking anorexic.  Most of the female models in most clothing ads do. It is simply NOT HEALTHY to be able to see that much of a woman’s skeletal structure when she’s wearing an off-the shoulder top: a healthy person’s sternum DOES NOT SHOW.  When was the last time you saw a male model’s sternum?