Recently found on Chicagoist:
Chunky women in their underwear have surrounded my house.Awwwww... poor Richard has been in the movie theatres too long and has forgotten that the majority of women don't look like the ones on screen.
Billboards of chunky women, that is. If you've been downtown lately, you've no doubt noticed the ads for Dove soap, featuring regular-sized women in bras and panties. It's part of a nationwide "Campaign for Real Beauty," and it's drawing waves of attention from the media. (For a major debate on this issue that's sure to sever some friendships in our Features Department, check out Pages 44-45.)
There's no doubt the ads are attention-getting. Let's put it this way: this is the first time in 3,000-plus columns that I've ever mentioned Dove soap.
Now here's where I'm supposed to say that I find it refreshing to see "real people" on billboards, given that our culture is so obsessed with youth and beauty, and that most billboards feature impossibly gorgeous, ridiculously thin women who have been airbrushed to a level of perfection that 99.9 percent of the population can never reach.
But the raw truth is, I find these Dove ads a little unsettling. If I want to see plump gals baring too much skin, I'll go to Taste of Chicago, OK? I'll walk down Michigan Avenue or go to Navy Pier. When we're talking women in their underwear on billboards outside my living room windows, give me the fantasy babes, please.
If that makes me sound superficial, shallow and sexist -- well yes, I'm a man. And I'll have to point out that most of the men who appear on billboards and in magazines and on TV commercials are just as genetically blessed as their female counterparts.
Oh, my favorite line of all:
"If that makes me sound superficial, shallow and sexist -- well yes, I'm a man."
A real man wouldn't whine about something like this.
ADDED: See the ad campaign here; thanks to deusinnomen for the link.