Waiting in line at a grocery store recently, I found myself glancing over some women's magazines, and I spotted something puzzling—even as women's magazines go.
One cover featured Rachel Bilson, with the tagline, “How she got her amazing curves.” What-are-you-talking-about,
Willis Women’s Health???
First of all, I wouldn’t call a waist the size of a fencepost and two tiny bumps where boobs should be “amazing curves.” Secondly, how does a magazine with this name get so far out of touch with what a healthy woman really looks like? Don’t get me wrong, Rachel is cute—all 98 pounds of her—and there’s nothing wrong with a smooth complexion, pretty hairdo, and big white teeth. But I think somebody should give that girl a sandwich, maybe some eggs Benedict. The poor thing probably has to stay inside on windy days, for fear of blowing into the next county.
Women’s Health, there are millions of beautiful and truly healthy women you could have shown… women with real curves, or at least measurements more voluptuous than 28-24-28. The only thing remarkable about Rachel is that she (or probably her agent) somehow persuaded you to photograph her and call her Olsen twin figure “amazing.”
But there's a lot of this going around. For years, gun manufacturer Kahr has been running magazine ads that show their products in the hands of nearly anorexic looking women, with the caption, "Thin is sexy." (Click here for some examples.) I guess the theory is that consumers will see the model, read the caption, and associate the thinness of their compact pistols with sex appeal. The trouble is, I don't find these women attractive. I know a lot of guys who are into guns and most of them don't either. (And the ads are clearly not targeted at women.) So, Kahr, I'm not sure who you're trying to reach, but most people I know would disagree with your advertising claim. Thin is okay, but it's possible to go too thin.
|In contrast to the Kahr, Ruger's curvaceous and|
somewhat heavier Vaquero is a sexy handgun.
Tom Wolfe is recognized as a premier chronicler of our culture; for the past 50 years he's observed in newspapers, nonfiction books, and novels how modern Americans think and act. Martha Croker, a character in his 1998 novel A Man in Full, resents her ex-husband Charlie's new trophy wife and others like her, both for their lack of moral fiber and lack of physical substance. To her eye, their bodies are like "12-year-old boys with breasts." (See Rachel Bilson's picture above.) Mr. Wolfe, you nailed it. And Charlie Croker, what's so sexy about that?