You know how you are allowed to criticize your family and no one else is? Or, you can tell an ethnic joke if you are in that ethnic club, but it’s not funny if you are not? It’s hard for me to talk about the Thin Ad at Ralph Lauren because I’m not a thin girl, and therefore my opinion is suspect. It looks like bitter, sour grapes, or defensive self-justification for eating too much ice cream. I’ll take the risk.
Any person who has a daughter, a friend with a daughter, a niece, a next door neighbor with a daughter, or has seen a girl under the age of fifteen on the street needs to stand up and take notice of what happened with the Ralph Lauren ad scandal last week.
I was a skinny kid. Skinny. Hard to even write the word now because I never felt skinny. When I saw a picture of myself when I was ten or eleven I was shocked at the way I actually looked versus the way I thought I looked. I remember going out to get ice cream as a kid and just as I’m about to lick that fabulous cone, my father said, “You know if you become a fat girl, no man will marry you.” Yikes.
Every girl needs a mirror to look into that frames the women around her. She also needs a window to look out to see those outside her inner circle. Then she gets to choose a combination of those mirror and window views and become the unique person that is her. This distorted scarecrow of a human being, Ralph Lauren’s latest ad, without a womanly quality other than the flowing hair, is an abomination that should not be allowed to be the view outside the window of any girl in America.
Ralph Lauren said to chalk it up to a bad Photoshop day. Huh? Not funny.
I love the phrase, “What were they thinking?” In this case, we know exactly what they were thinking. They were thinking about manipulating the image of what a person – a girl – should look like to their own sick end of increased revenues for the clothing industry and decreased revenue for the food industry.
Here’s an image for you. Let all clothing manufacturers be taken over by General Foods and let’s see what happens to the pictures of what a woman should look like. If there was a conflict of interest in selling food and clothing within a company, fat would be in for sure.
Shame on you, Ralph Lauren. Shame on us all for being manipulated. How about if everyone – I mean everyone – doesn’t buy anything at RL for the rest of the year? I assure you that others will think twice before crossing the line that sends our youth to anorexia clinics and men to the dark side of what to look for in a woman. I pledge here that I will not buy another RL product for the rest of the year. The annual RL cashmere sweater that has been a staple under the tree for my child will not be there this year. Are you with me?