Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, May 19

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Maureen / July 19, 2005 4:45 PM

I like them--I've seen some ultra-culture reformer-types complain that they don't go far enough because none of the women are plus-size, and they sell firming cream--but everyone wants to be a better version of themselves, which I think is a very realistic and honest promise for a cosmetic company to make.

And my esteem for Roeper has just plummeted.

Artemis / July 19, 2005 4:49 PM

I think they're great. They show women who are healthy, not overweight or underweight, and they celebrate different shapes and body types.

To all the men who've been critical, especially those Sun-Times critics, I'll take your opinion seriously when I see you baring it all. Oh wait, your body isn't perfect? What a shock.

emily / July 19, 2005 5:06 PM

I think it is wonderful. And effective. I totally ran out and bought the lotion AND the cream.

It makes me feel better about being a "healthy girl" every time I see them. I wish I was up there in my whitey tighties!

eep / July 19, 2005 5:20 PM

I like the fact that advertisers are actually promoting a normal body image in their ads. It makes me like Dove much more for doing so, and yes, I will be more inclined to buy their products because of this ad campaign.

That said, the type on these ads needs to be bigger (at least on billboards and busboards). I've seen the ads while driving around town, but the type isn't bold enough to read while trying not to get sideswiped on Western. I guess that's a good thing, because I shouldn't be reading *anything* while I drive, really. For the longest time I thought those ads were for Fruit of the Loom or something, just because I couldn't read the copy.

As for the guys as the Sun-Times, I can see their building from where I sit, and I give them the finger. This is just one more reason why I never read their paper, and I never will.

Eamon / July 19, 2005 5:23 PM

I don't know what those chuckleheads are talking about. Stacy is teh HOTT!!~!

Maureencd / July 19, 2005 5:24 PM

I'm ashamed to say that the ads make me uncomfortable. In theory, I think that they're a great idea. I'm a "normal-sized" woman, myself, and so I totally support the idea that someone with my type of figure could be featured in an Ad campaign. I read the Sun Times today and thought that Richard Roeper and Lucio Guerrero were being jerks. And yet . . . the ads kind of freak me out. I don't know if it's because I've internalized the whole unrealistic standards of beauty thing, or if the women are so "real" that I feel like people shouldn't be looking at them in their underwear.

PJ Chmiel / July 19, 2005 5:46 PM

I think the ads are simply smart, calculated marketing at no real risk, with tons of free publicity for doing something "daring" that really isn't.

After reading all the controversy before seeing the ads, I was expecting to see a bunch of fatties, and worrying that the ads (much like the rapidly sliding scale of US T-shirt sizes) would reinforce the feeling that Americans' obesity epidemic was "ok," or even "natural." Fortunately these women look good, and healthy. Some look like pin-up girls from 30-50 years ago, their bodies are not radical at all. Nice to see some color and tattoos, though that's obviously calculated too.

I'd also like to see some ads that promoted the idea that small boobs are okay, too many fake nasty ones in this country!

e_five / July 19, 2005 5:53 PM

It caught my attention. The women aren't obese or even fat, they're just a little big. I think it's fine. I'd rather see them than heroin chic waifs.

waleeta / July 19, 2005 6:09 PM

Is that what those are? I was wondering why there were chunky women in underwear at my bus stop.

They're fine, I guess. Don't really care. Overweight or not, they're doing what "heroin-chic" models do, selling creams to make women feel like they need to be prettier, smoother, blemish free, whatever. I'm sick of it regardless the size of the woman selling the product.

I'm 26, 5'8 and 120 pounds, and I still have stretch marks and the beginnings of cellulite. Fat or thin, no woman is perfect. Wait, no HUMAN is perfect.

Rebecca / July 19, 2005 6:21 PM

Shit, at least it's a baby step in the right direction. And all those women looked like "plus-sized" modles; they were still conventionally attractive... just not skinny. I think they're hot.

CBS also has a lovely "feedback" section on their website. The here's the letter I sent to Bill:

Mr. Zwecker,
I'm appauled by your comments concerning the Dove Ad campaign featuring "real women." The last thing promoting healthy body image does is encourage obesity. It makes you want take care of your body because you like it! not despise it for its flaws! All of these women are beautiful and not at all out of shape. I speak as a conventionally attractive, size petite 20-something woman--not everyone is built to be a "perfect size 8." Do you have daughters Mr. Zwecker? If so I'm very sorry for them having such a mysogynist father with ridiculously high beauty standards that could only be met by fashion models. Please reconsider your irresponsible comments. You should be a role model.

Sincerely, Rebecca S

jessica / July 19, 2005 9:16 PM

i love them!

sarah / July 19, 2005 10:19 PM

The men who think that the ads "promote obesity" have fallen victim to their own media's promotion of bone-skinny women as "healthy" or "normal."

I hope they get some help.

As for the ads, they are clever but the women are still airbrushed to within an inch of their lives. Apparently, even a size 18 still needs to be hairless and poreless. One miracle at a time, I guess.

FlowFeel / July 19, 2005 10:28 PM

It's all a big scam - a big f****n' Scam!

Brandy / July 19, 2005 10:34 PM

Like Rebecca, I think it's a good baby step. I'm all for it. Yep, it's fundamentally advertising, but it's a company with the money to get those images in front of peoples' eyeballs, albeit ads - and I'm glad they are women of different shapes, rather than the size 0 cookie cutters in nearly every other ad.

o_gasior / July 19, 2005 10:38 PM

I appreciated Kris' post. I like the ads. I think they promote a healthier lifestyle than the stick-thin models.

steven / July 19, 2005 11:11 PM

"real" women or not, they're still trying to sell something. i'm just glad they chose women that are in shape. if they wanted to show real america though, they would show some bodies that are middle-of-the-road, or obese, since that's where our country is at.

and you can't tell me that they didn't do some sort of post-photo touch ups.

cat / July 19, 2005 11:24 PM

if i want to read something intelligent, i'll avoid richard roeper. and the ads? like all the rest of 'em, they mean nothing to me.

Lori / July 19, 2005 11:52 PM

I love those gals in their regular undies.

Now, there's a billboard at Cicero and Belmont that is just totally gross for some drink called "rock star" and it's two insanely skinny women that look like bad porn stars. Why is that ok and this innocous ad of women in their regular gal undies causing a ruckus?

I think there is a shift occuring, and we will all be seeing lots more "normal" sized people in ads. Finally!

johnny scab / July 20, 2005 1:46 AM

if i wanted to see ugly regular chiqs I would just walk out my door... i want to see hotties at all time if they are even to catch my eye much less my mooolah

Ralph / July 20, 2005 6:47 AM

Oh god. When I first saw this, I thought it was an ad for these.

Stephen / July 20, 2005 7:04 AM

I think the concept is good and hope we see more of it. The Sun-Times writers' comments are unfortunate; I think it's much more likely that those writers are promoting stupidity, rather than Dove promoting obesity.

Having said that, I only noticed the ads a few times before it faded back into all the other advertising noise here in the city.

And regarding touch-ups, this may be the first ad campaign I've seen where it could be argued that they may have airbrushed IN blemishes, stretch marks, bruises, tattoos, etc. to lend the ad campaign an air of authenticity and credibility.

Scott / July 20, 2005 8:08 AM

It's a sad but eye-opening commentary that "normal", everyday feminine beauty sparks any commentary at all. My hope is that it has a rippling effect in advertising. Yeah, right.

heather / July 20, 2005 8:32 AM

Reading all the hoopla over these ads makes me wonder what makes slender women's bodies any less "real" than larger women's bodies.

I resent the implication that any woman is any more or less 'real' than any other woman.

That said, the dove ads just underline the fact that dove is a moisturizing lotion, not a miracle weight-loss (or weight-gain) elixir.

TK / July 20, 2005 8:44 AM

Bravo, Scott!

I've liked this campaign since it started (remember the blond wig commercials?), and appreicate its "see the beauty around you & in yourself" ethic, although I know it's still advertising. And it certainly hasn't kept me out of the gym!

Wendy / July 20, 2005 8:45 AM

These ads make me want to overthrow the patriarchy and eat enough pie to kill me.

Oh, wait, except I don't give a shit.

MikeH / July 20, 2005 8:49 AM

I think the ads are a step in the right direction, and as a guy, they don't bother me at all. If it makes women in general feel more comfortable about their bodies with their clothes off, then it's a good thing...

D Arthur / July 20, 2005 9:23 AM

Some of those lady's are hot. Makes me want to molest my monkey. How ever let us not forget that all women are real. Why not show some granny's or some woman who do not look like plus sized models. Alot of real woman are not even attractive, Why not show some of them? It is all bullshit. Now go buy your dam Dove products. Even by discussing this we become corporate whores.

Erica / July 20, 2005 9:24 AM

The models in the ad are not remotely fat so I'm kinda mad people are saying they are, but I also understand why people are freaking. Consumers are SOOO used to seeing ads that feature 6'2"/105-pound Caucasian women with big boobs, long silky hair and photshopped faces that when a normal looking person appears on an ad, they look almost alien. I think some consumers -- men and women -- are so accustomed to being bombarded by the unrealistic plastic images that they miss them when they're thrown a curveball like Dove's ad. Like, "I have to look at my/other people's normal images all day so I when I'm being advertised to, I want to see hot chicks/hot dudes/whatever."
So sad, but true.

Pete / July 20, 2005 9:25 AM

I think they're great. Finally an ad campaign which celebrates healthy reality rather than a sickly "ideal."

Fredo / July 20, 2005 9:40 AM

Frankly, I'm appalled that anyone actually reads Richard Roeper.

Sarah / July 20, 2005 10:31 AM

Hoo boy. This is definitely my favorite quote: "the only time I want to see a thigh that big is in a bucket with bread crumbs on it" Couldn't go halfway could we?

I love how they are trying to pass off their remarks as 1) an honest opinion (as opposed to a sexist, harmful remark) 2) in the best interest of the health of women. Roeper says that it's not his fault he's sexist and shallow...he's a man! If I were a man I would be offended by that.

I have to agree with what Erica of the Sun Times articles says that one of the models in the ad is a size 8 or 10. That's hardly what I'd call overweight or "chunky", in fact these models look fairly toned.

I want someone to ask these columnists why they feel like they have the right to say these things. I want an intelligent, female columnist to write a retort to these sexist remarks that makes these writers think about the impact of their comments on ordinary women and men and the power that they have as public commentators.

Cinnamon / July 20, 2005 10:42 AM

All women are real. Even the ones with doctor-scuplted cheekbones, breasts, and thighs. However, the women in these ads are average. They all look to be somewhere between a size 8 and a size 12.

They're television commercials I think are much more radical with a very pregnant woman in her underwear, an elderly woman with very wrinkled skin, etc.

And the Sun-Times guys, and presumably man other men and women, only want to be surrounded by fantasy people, which is fine.

Now what would be truly radical, would be if Playboy had a cover model with no airbrushing who was a size 10.

Paul / July 20, 2005 10:49 AM

Cinnamon: Now what would be truly radical, would be if Playboy had a cover model with no airbrushing who was a size 10.

Sad that even a size 10, which is still below the average 16, would be radical eh?

In any case, I'm very much for the Dove ads. They are not perfect, they are selling something, and they aren't as diverse as the same campaigns as in the UK and Canada - but they are a great step in the right direction.

NotSoHealthy / July 20, 2005 10:57 AM

This is what all models look like before they are airbrushed.

kelly / July 20, 2005 10:59 AM

Is it better than most? Yes; however, I think it's silly that women should feel empowered that a beautiful woman with a small belly is now appearing on billboards, as opposed to beautiful women without bellies.
I just wish that the most radical statement that advertisments making today wasn't that "It's Okay to be Normal." Fuck that -- people don't permission to be "real". Plus, in the end, it's still an ad hawking some product to make our thighs skinnier.

Yowsers! / July 20, 2005 11:04 AM

I have just seen the ads and I think they're great!

In regards to what the reporters are saying, I've only read Roepers coloumn and he's being honest. So now if something doesn't sit well with someone even though it's someones opinion, it shouldn't be said? Is it right they said it? No, not at all. But it is our right to say what we want and what we feel without having to tiptoe around everything. Sooner or later no one will say anything because someone could be offended or not like what is being said.

waleeta / July 20, 2005 11:28 AM

Heather -


kd / July 20, 2005 11:29 AM

Just looove this quote:

“And speaking of underwear, what's with the lingerie these women are
wearing? It's like Sears catalog, circa 1983.)”

Not only is it bad enough these women are stigmatized for being “fat” and showin’ it, but couldn’t they, you know, at least put on something pretty, too? Because you know, underwear is not supposed to serve any other purpose than to please the eye.

Not only is it bad enough to show normal women, but oh my god! They’re wearing normal underwear, too. Gasp.

andrew / July 20, 2005 12:00 PM

I'm VERY offended by the male stereotyping these Sun-Times writers are perpetuating. Have they ever actually had a relationship with a woman? I feel sorry for their wives/daughters.
It's unreal how myopic some people can be about the more disgusting aspects of our society.

kate / July 20, 2005 12:03 PM

i agree with kelly.

we objectify skinny women all the time. dammit, i want to be objectified too!

Pattie / July 20, 2005 12:05 PM

This is the letter I sent to Mr. Zwecker:

Ya know, based on your "not wanting to see real women in ads" nonsense, one could say the same thing about you Mr Zwecker. Who really wants to watch an overweight balding man talk on their television about "entertainment"? Can't the "powers that be" over at CBS bring me a REAL MAN. I'd like Henry Rollins please. He's much more muscular, has more hair, probably is taller than you and can actually talk intelligently, unlike you. Quite honestly I find the "Real Women" in the Dove ads far more attractive than the likes of you or any of your fellow reporters at the Sun-Times. I'd rather see them than the underfed overly touched up "fantasy" women you and your collegue, Mr Roeper want to see. It's about time the advertising industry realized that not all women are a size 2, that perhaps if they start showing all the sizes and shapes of the women of this world people will become more accepting of the differences each of us has. Obviously talking to the men at the Chicago Sun Times and CBS is like talking to a wall....all you'll get are ignorant, sexist, and shallow comments on how the women are too "chunky." You do realize that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16...the women in the billboard are probably the same size as her, or smaller.
I find your comments to be in poor taste I will no longer read your newspaper, your online blog or watch your television reports. If you don't want to see "real women" Mr Zwecker, I suggest you lock yourself up in your home, we're EVERYWHERE!

Naz / July 20, 2005 12:10 PM

I'd love to see Henry Rollins talk about "entertainment":

"And this Lindsay Lohan's new movie: oh shite, fuck it, it sucks and she should be removed from pop culture forever! Now where's Ozzy..."

Cue Black Sabbath.

Pattie / July 20, 2005 12:15 PM

Naz, heh heh....awesome! We all need some Black Sabbath in the morning.

Steve / July 20, 2005 12:22 PM

My 'dar isn't perfect, but I'm 99.44% certain that Bill Zwecker does not have children.

Monkey / July 20, 2005 12:22 PM

They make me horny.

Sherie S / July 20, 2005 12:25 PM

As a sociologist interested in weight and body image issues I think these ads are great! There is actually a study that suggests that after young women look at magazines with too many unrealistic images, not only does their self esteem go down, but even they ability to do mathematics. I don't have immediate reference to it, but I am looking. I am equally disappointed in our newspeople, but here is something else the public should know. Pharmaceutical companies like Roche actually give cash awards to "journalists" who cover obesity. Of course covering it means only presenting the angle that will help them sell the most diet pills. Sponsors have too much influence over the news today, those folks are not just narrow minded, they are bought and paid for. For anyone who is interested in both sides of the story, the Chicago Public Library has some great books on the subject - Paul Campos' The Obesity Myth for starts. It is always good to look at things from all perspectives.

Jeigh / July 20, 2005 12:30 PM

I think that they are just as lousy and facile as EVERY ad ever made. Just because Ogilvy Mather decided to cast some "real looking" women doesn't mean that they deserve a cookie. They are still trying to SELL health/beauty products to women, and the results of their focus group testing probably made including "normal women" in the campaign a given, but tell me, what are "real curves"? I'll tell you this much, as a professional retoucher who has worked on many such ads, EVERYONE gets retouched nowadays, and I am CERTAIN that the people at O-M rejected many women during casting because they were "too big" or even "too thin". What's the difference? Someone is still being rejected.

It was safe to take this approach with THIS product only, I'm sure that the art directors down the hall working on the Miller campaign are "kickin' things old school", but why not just see for yourself?:

anna / July 20, 2005 12:30 PM

Honestly, I don't really get these ads. Everyone's right that these women aren't really fat or obese, but they *are* chunky -- and it's not clear how this "firming cream" is making them look any less chunky. Maybe if there was some kind of before-and-after shot. Otherwise I don't get the point of the product. It's like if there was an ad for a hair-care product with a woman with really frizzy, crappy looking hair, and the text just said "this is the best I can do with my hair".

toni / July 20, 2005 12:50 PM

Just to clarify, the stuff that's being sold in these ads is firming cream. It doesn't make your thighs look skinnier. Instead, it makes 'em less bumpy. Less like an orange peel. It reduces the "cellulite." So the models are implying that they've already used it.

And that they're smoove like dat. ;-)

I think it might actually plump your thighs a bit, to reduce the bumps.

Anyway, I like the ads. They're not killing anyone, it's a break from the omnipresent iPod ads, and they're making crappy, aging Sun-Times columnists look stupid. Let's bum rush Roeper's office! Who's with me?!

Jake / July 20, 2005 1:18 PM

I like big butts and I cannot lie. You other brothers can't deny that when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face, you get sprung.

lms / July 20, 2005 1:54 PM

With a nod to all of you who have correctly pointed out that, no matter what, this is still an ad for thigh cream, I'll say this:

If I'm going to be shown women in their underwear (and I am, unless I don't leave the house or watch t.v. or check my email), I'd rather those women were healthy looking and appear to be pleased with themselves.

As for Mr. Roeper and his colleagues - I am regularly exposed to ads featuring the women that feed his fantasies. I find those women unattractive, and I find those ads to be offensive. I've been subjected to that type of advertising much longer than I expect this Dove campaign will last. So, please, sir, quit being such a crybaby and let us "regular" people have a moment - just a moment - to remember that yours is not the only standard of beauty in the world.

Ugh. I'm off to a sensory deprivation tank now.

kerry / July 20, 2005 1:56 PM

I think maybe some people don't understand that this campaign isn't just these ads for the firming cream, that it's actually a much larger product image push that Dove has been working on for close to a year. They also did some honest-to-goodness academic research with interesting results (link is to a PDF):
As for these specific ads, just last weekend my boyfriend spotted one and remarked that he disliked them. When I told him how much I like them he asked why, and when I told him that it's because they look like me, he shut his mouth. I think men don't like these ads because they've become accustomed to ads for women, featuring women designed to arouse men. Once they see an ad featuring half-naked women not meant to turn them on, they protest. What's the point of all that flesh if it doesn't give you a hard on, right?

christy / July 20, 2005 1:59 PM

I think the Dove ads are highly effective. How much more aware are you of the brand Dove? How much more likely are you to pick up a Dove soap or lotion from the shelves and purchase it? Dove got people's attention; they got noticed. That's what they wanted.

If you're really interested in effective ingredients in different firming creams. . . . But you're not. Whom are we kidding?

Ramsin / July 20, 2005 1:59 PM

I still don't get it. These are curvy women in underwear, right? Why the hell would any red-blooded hetero dude complain about curvy women in underwear?

Naz / July 20, 2005 2:59 PM

I find the women quite attractive. I'm with Ramsin on that point.

As for showing "real women" I quite like what Dove's doing. I remember when I was much younger and after having been exposed to countless fashion magazines (Vogue and the like) courtesy of my mother and sister, I came across a magazine of some sort that featured plus-sized models. I didn't really notice anything different except that perhaps they were more clothed or covered up. The women were still beautiful though.

And truthfully, give me real over heroin chic anyday. It's sexy as all get out to see a real girl who bikes/runs/whatever around all day and is sweaty and a little unkempt from just doing her thing rather than some foundation make-up layered stick figure who's afraid of a little sweat and food.

Brenda / July 20, 2005 3:10 PM

I find it interesting (*cough*typical*cough) that these men are so offended by the ads. As if they're *entitled* to only be exposed to advertising that appeals to *them*. What the ???

And are they stupid enough to think that Dove is marketing firming cream to them? No? Then why don't they just turn the other cheek? The answer, sadly, is that (hetero) men are programmed to notice any female or picture of a female that crosses their path, especially when exposed skin is involved. They simply can't stop themselves from looking. And subsequently rating the women on their personal attractiveness scale. Which is what these journalists have done, except they did it publicly. They should be embarrassed, not indignant.

Women love the ads, in general, which means they are "good ads". They did what they were supposed to do. They made Dove money. Hurrah for Dove. Hurrah for Ogilvy.

Tell me again why anyone cares what three oversexed middle-aged men think...?

Eamon / July 20, 2005 3:10 PM

I think plenty of men-- such as myself-- like the ads just fine. No one I know is complaining. Women! In underpants! It's all upside!

PJ Chmiel / July 20, 2005 3:16 PM

Despite the "liberating" ads I still wouldn't touch a Dove product, the soap (like all grocery-store bar soap) is just rendered animal fat with feminine packaging (yuck!) and all their shit is still tested on animals.

Beef tallow is the main ingredient in Dove, Lever 2000, Dial, and Tone. Pork Tallow is the main ingredient in Irish Spring. A mixture of beef and pork tallow is the main ingredient in Ivory, Safe Guard, Zest, and Coast soaps.

Emerson Dameron / July 20, 2005 3:18 PM

On one of my recent temporary assignments, I proofread guidelines for these ads. Say what you will, hataz - I DEFY you to find ONE TECHNICAL ERROR in these ads. BOO-ya!

Brenda / July 20, 2005 3:23 PM

oops... hehe. CBS2 did a follow-up on Zwecker's blog entry about this. They read one viewer's email response on the air. Guess whose they read {sheepish grin}.

Heh :)

Video clip here:

Brenda / July 20, 2005 3:40 PM

P.S. The typos in the on-screen text aren't mine. Just so you know.

KX / July 20, 2005 3:56 PM

I agree with the Sears underwear comments because if I'm going to be seen by anyone but myself in mine, it damn well will be pretty. But that's just me.
Now, on the subject of Zwecker and Roeper. I have first-hand knowledge (no, I did not sleep with him) that Roeper is a total slut and takes women home all the time, even at work functions. There's speculation that males are chosen sometimes too, out of the public eye.

Naz / July 20, 2005 3:59 PM

Brenda - awesome!

mike / July 20, 2005 4:00 PM

...doesn't most of the world like curvy women anyway?

Dee / July 20, 2005 4:06 PM

How ironic is it that I had to sit through an advertisement for Crest whitening strips--modeled by a thin white woman, of course--before I could watch the CBS video?

Fatty Fudgecake / July 20, 2005 4:42 PM

UMMMM guys, I don't think you understand what this cream does is make you fat and ugly!

eep / July 20, 2005 5:18 PM

Hey Brenda, thanks for the tip. I got a mention, too. I'm the one at the end who threatened not to watch any more. Not like I watched all that much in the first place, but still. I told Zwecker that if he wants his ads to be a fantasy, then I'm going to make my television watching a fantasy, where men as shallow as him don't exist. Hey, it's only fair.

And yes, I know this is only advertising, aimed to sell a product. But it goes deeper than that, really. How many ads are out there with non-model looking men in them? Do female journalists cause an uproar when there's a beer ad with overweight, shirtless men in it? Not so much. So why are male journalists allowed to do this? I find it very sad that this even has to be an issue, but it is.

And to you women who commented that skinnier women are REAL women, too, you're completely right. It's just another sad fact that women are split into categories, thin vs. fat, which is "real?" You don't hear people commenting that bald men are any less "real" than men with hair, so why does a woman's weight affect her worth? It's just sad.

Brenda / July 20, 2005 5:27 PM

You don't hear people commenting that bald men are any less "real" than men with hair, so why does a woman's weight affect her worth? It's just sad.

Completely true. And before anyone rags on me for what I wrote to Zwecker, about him not being a "prize" because he's bald, overweight, yadda yadda... it was mostly a cheap shot to let him feel what he was dishing out. I don't personally equate physical beauty with human value. Because that would be silly.

tj / July 20, 2005 6:29 PM


kate / July 20, 2005 6:35 PM

Just to begin my point I'll state the obvious: The target audience for this ad campaign is women and only women. It has absolutely nothing to do with men, it doesn't involve them, they aren't present in the ads, the product is not for them, etc. Therefore we must ask ourselves if they even have the right to be offended (unless is concerns an issue like gender equality - see my previous comment above). I'm sure there are some men out there who are offended by the amount of skin being showed, perhaps they're highly religious, but my guess is that is not the issue in most cases including the one dominating the current discussion. My guess is men feel they have the right to be offended simply *because* the ads have nothing to do with them. Men have incredible influence on and control over just about everything single thing in this world, including our own bodies, and with that in mind I suppose it's understandable, and pretty unnerving, to see a giant billboard so blatantly not directed towards them. And of a nearly nude woman! How dare we women expose our bodies for a purpose other than to please men, it threatens to break down the very fundamental structure of the patriarch!...

....I digress, this was not my original point and to be honest I don't completely believe these ads have nothing to do with men (although I do believe that's how some men are interpreting them and why they claim to be offended or dislike the ads - though none would admit to that connection). I don't believe a woman's value is in her physical appearance, an idea that these ads still promote regardless of the size of the model, and I don't believe that using a woman's body, large or small, to sell a product is ethical in a society where women's equality is not guaranteed and our rights are constantly in jeopardy. Men do benefit from these ads - many men enjoy them and many men profit from them. I don't think we would have ads like this if it weren't for men.

However...getting back to my original point...I would still love to break the face of Zwecker or Roeper or any other bird brain man who thinks they have the right to say such things.

Keek / July 20, 2005 6:50 PM

I like the ads a lot. I think it's great that Dove is willing to put fit, glowing women who don't fit the ultra-thin stereotype of what's beautiful out there in everyone's face for the world to see. I like that these women are all clearly physically fit. Even though they are larger than the typical models featured even in fitness magazines, they all look like they could kick some ass, they have muscle tone and firm bodies - not on the terms of some dumb magazine ideal but on their own term. Although the women are still smaller and younger than the average American woman, I think the image presented in the Dove ads is an image that's actually worth aspiring to - achieving fitness and health and a glow at whatever size is natural and right for you.

That being said, one little thing is twisting my knickers. A lot of people use the old "Marilyn Monroe was a size 16" when they talk about how messed up beauty ideals are in our culture. But if Marilyn Monroe were alive today, she'd probably wear a size 6 or 8. She is not a size 16 by today's sizing standards in the United States. Sizes off the rack have gotten a lot bigger than they used to be. This point was hit home to me a couple of years ago when my friend and I made a dress ourselves so I could be a groomsmaid in my friend's wedding. I wear a size 8 or 10 off the rack in most clothing stores. When we made the dress, my measurements and dimensions matched a size 14. While clothing sizes have changed over time all across the retail racks of America, sewing pattern sizes have largely stayed the same.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the body of today's size 16 woman. But saying it's the same as Marilyn Monroe is simply wrong.

Sherie S / July 20, 2005 7:46 PM

Kerry, I think you have a wonderful point. I show Killing Us Softly to my classes all the time. It is about the effects of advertising and one of the things Jean Kilbourne points out is that women are almost always portrayed as submissive. (Or as you say, in a sexually suggestive poses designed to arose men.) The body language of these women is neither submissive or suggestive. I don't think it is just their size or their underwear, I think they are sending out a whole different type of subliminal message that is making SOME men of the old school uncomfortable.

fred / July 20, 2005 8:12 PM

What do you use instead of soap? Tallow gets you clean, but thinking about it is sickening. I hope this isn't going to be like the time Vegans showed me those pictures and I couldn't wear my chicken suit anymore...

Dove ads. There sure are a lot of them.

cynth / July 20, 2005 8:19 PM

I think the ads are great. Even though I would of preferred to see all size 14 and above women in these ads,which is closer to the "norm" in America.

These women are not fat or chunky, if you think they are you better rediscover what "real" people look like. Spending too much time looking at anorexic women will warp your sense of reality.

PJ Chmiel / July 21, 2005 12:09 AM

Fred, I don't use something "instead" of soap, I simply choose from any one of hundreds of soaps that don't contain animal fat. Most anything you'll find at a Whole Foods or health-food store will be vegetable oil-based, as are many of the handmade or "alternative" glycerin or coconut oil based soaps sold at specialty shops around the city.

It blows my mind that most Americans still "clean" their bodies with rendered animal fat. I don't imagine most people realize it, because it's so gross that if they did, they'd probably switch to something else. I guess soap companies keep using it because it's a cheap by-product of meat-eating and they can disguise it well with perfumes and packaging.

Jeigh / July 21, 2005 10:11 AM

There seems to be a clear split between the men commenting here, and the men who wrote the recent inflammatory comments in the press... The men in Gapers really seem to LIKE the ads. Perhaps Zwecker and Roeper are just baitng us all into reading their stupid columns. Hey, why not just quit reading them? Commenting on the visual aspects of the ads, I am with all the other people who said they like them and whole-heartedly approve.

That said, it's still a VAPID ad campaign, even if the ad agency makes it APPEAR as if they've done hard research, it's still a dumb ad campaign. I'd personally like these images even more if they weren't for this campaign. Women who THINK that men object might be the same ones who go out and pick up a whole CASE full of product. Don't be fooled, right NOW there's still some spikey-haired dude in a striped dress shirt down the hall at that very SAME agency, demonstrating to his buds how he was grinding on some chick last weekend while a receptionist nearby pretends not to hear. Almost all ads are demeaning to somebody somewhere, IMHO... A step in the right direction, or a calculated attempt to sell more?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
Not found within creams or the silly ads selling them.

Thomas Williams / July 21, 2005 10:34 AM

I am glad to finally see women in ads, that are "actually sexy"!

I hope see more women like this in future ads!

Sonja / July 25, 2005 9:07 AM

I think it's a gimmick to make money. They put out like they are progressive about female pulchritude, but their end game is to sell their product. Men need a revolution, not women.

Ying Yang / August 27, 2006 12:28 AM

Dear Fat Women.

It is an urban myth that Marilyn Monroe was a fatty UK 16. She never weighed more than 10 stone at 5ft5 and often weighed less. Her stats were around 35-22-35.

So.. stop clinging to straws (and silly myths that don't bear scrutiny). Lose weight you fat bastards. That is all.

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15