Images are constantly used to make a statement. Sometimes, however, there’s more than one statement being made–and that’s the case below.
And instead of offering just one take, let’s encompass the multiple ways this picture can be seen.
What’s your initial reaction?
Mine was that the image is both a slight against rail-thin super models and a statement saying that women can be thicker and proud of how they look. (Included in this reaction was the surprise of just how skinny those top girls are when compared to the bottom ones.)
But then crept in an interruption to that sentiment. I looked at the heading about the bottom women: Real Beauty. It then seemed to be saying that it’s not just acceptable to be bigger, but something to be proud of. It had me wondering if this campaign wasn’t from Dove chocolate rather than Dove soap.
The third takeaway was offered by friend, Natalie. She found the whole conversation odd because no matter whose side your on in this “contest” you’re on the losing side, because we shouldn’t be contesting who’s better. And she added that “real women don’t have to strip down to their underwear.”
Either way you look at it, it offers a nice exercise in how one image can trigger different reactions. On Facebook, commentors range from the “you go girls!” to the “look at those sickly, skinny models” to the “why are we proud of being fat?” And yet, from all this, I did have an over-arching reaction encompassing these various responses: How American
How American it is to combine elements of women’s desire to be skinny, others’ plus-sizedness, celebrating being bigger, and pitting the two against each other in a half-naked contest.