Adage wrote a story about new research that states the obvious- Advertisers prefer thin models because it makes consumers like the brand more, but no so much themselves.
According to the article, the study was done by business professors at Villanova University and the College of New Jersey and was inspired by Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty”. It concluded that “ads featuring thin models made women feel worse about themselves but better about the brands featured”.
Since when is this news to anyone? That’s been the deal all along. Sure we had a few months of “conscious” fashion designers that weighed their models and put full figured models on the runway. But we all know that was just to try make women feel better about themselves long enough to get them shopping again. They mentioned that women that had just seen a thin model were less likely to opt for cookies like Oreos out of negative feelings about their own body, but still preferred brands that used ads with thin models.
What a self loathing society. Giving more validity to spokemodels that look “better”, but aren’t a real representation of society. But it appears that Dove will continue with its effort to promote real women and real lifestyles. The article noted that a spokesman for Unilever said the company believes its approach works. He says that “Unilever is confident in the effectiveness of its advertising. 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.”
I think that’s a noble thought, but probably one that’s wasted.