Saturday, March 8, 2008

Victoria, your secret is showing..

I just spent the morning reading a message board on whether or not Victoria's Secret is too sexy. Since this subject hits close to home, naturally I read every single comment.

I'm actually happy to see how many women seem to have the same feelings as I do. With the exception of a few men (naturally) almost everyone was objectionable about one aspect of Victoria's Secret or another.

This was very encouraging. I really hope that the comments I was reading somehow make its way to the powers that be at VS headquarters. If they actually listened to what the average consumer was saying, I bet it would do a lot for their image. Not to mention open up the consumer base to a large demographic of women who fit into the average category not "model/teen" category.

Like I said most of the commenter's were women. A lot of them complained of poor quality and high prices. Something I wouldn't know too much about since I am unable to purchase anything in their stores that actually fit. However this is very important. It just goes to show that VS is spending most of their money on sexy models and advertising, and not focusing on what counts, like the quality of their products, which according to the consumers fall apart easily after one or two wearings.

The other hot button issue was the sex factor. When is "sexy" too sexy?

Many people had complaints about the advertising. From commercials and catalogs that border on soft porn, to complaints about the "raunchy" store window displays with scantily clad women in compromising positions. Displays that are at the front of the store in plain view. That adults were embarrassed to look at, not mention how they felt about their children seeing these peep shows.

Many women also pointed out that the advertising is geared towards men. This I cannot agree with more. Like I said before the catalogs, commercials, and "fashion" shows, border on soft porn. Astonishingly, this stuff is shown on national television. Mothers especially were bothered by this as children and teens are frequently exposed.

The main problem with VS advertising is that it's obviously geared towards men not women. The men drool over and get excited by the models, while the women end up being embarrassed and uncomfortable.

Plain and simple Victoria's Secret needs to target women. They are the ones spending the most money in the stores. Men occasionally shop there for special occasions, but overall it's the women who fills the coffers.

How does using a underweight model in skimpy underwear make the average woman want to buy VS products?

On the contrary, the way I see it, and this is true for some of the commenter's as well, women are put off by the ads with skimpy sex kittens posing sexily. It makes them feel inadequate and inferior. I know I do. Right away it makes me feel like I don't have a chance at getting into their clothes because I don't have a body like that.

And you know what? It's true. Walk into a VS store and try to find a size that fits a "plus sized" woman correctly. And by plus size I mean something over a size 6, because according to VS if you are over that you are fat.

Now on the off chance you do find something in your size, chances are it doesn't fit properly. I have this issue with bras and lingerie there. I am well endowed, and the bras at VS do not come in my size.

I shouldn't say that, sometimes I find one or two specimens that have my size printed on it, (usually they are the plainest looking granny bras you can find. Not the cute girly ones that come in the A-C sizes). Unfortunately these bras are nowhere near big enough, nor strong enough to support the twins.

Why are bigger women made to feel inferior and ugly? If I have bigger boobs then why aren't my bras as cute as the ones for smaller breasted women? Why are they plain and ugly? Why are the larger sizes mostly only sold online? Which is really stupid considering that people that need larger sizes, really really need to try the product on before they buy it.

The message VS (and other stores as well) is sending, is that bigger is uglier and we don't carry your size because it isn't sexy.

Which I find a little odd considering when it comes to breasts at least, bigger is supposedly better (according to the media that is). Or does that only apply to fake breasts?

What I'm trying to say, is that retailers in general cater to the ideal that women need to be small and skinny in order to be beautiful, sexy, and attractive to your man.

Again, is it any wonder women turn to plastic surgery and eating disorders?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Victoria's Secret too sexy??

The headlines are buzzing this morning. Apparently the CEO of Victoria's Secret thinks the company is getting too sexy. Ya think? I shouldn't be sarcastic about this, because this is a good thing, but still, how come it too so long to figure this out? Oh wait, because their sales were dropping and people were actually complaining. It's about time. Way to go!!

I'd never thought I'd see the day, when Victoria's Secret would think they were too sexy. Now they are talking (we'll see if this actually happens) about fixing up their image and going back to their original heritage. This means toning down the sexy ( sometimes trashy) image, and trying to target an older market, not just teens and college women.

Well it's about time. And while you're at it, how about making bras (that are cute and attractive) for women who have naturally larger cleavage. I'm not talking about big bazooms bought from plastic surgery that can hold their own, and don't need actual support. I mean real honest to goodness 100% flesh.

At the risk of sounding like a prude, I have to admit it's embarrassing when I'm watching t.v. with my husband, and a Victoria's Secret commercial comes on. I do not enjoy watching their scantily clad models straight from the pages of a porn magazine (they might as well be), glide across my t.v. screen in all their glory. Wait just a minute here, I didn't invite these sex kittens, why are they invading my living room?

Talk about feeling horrible about yourself. And you know what? The commercials never fail to come on when we are eating dinner. Which means both of us are watching. Naturally I change the channel, because seeing them strutting around in barely enough fabric to cover a hamster, sets my teeth on edge. The whole spiral of I'm ugly, not good enough, too fat, what does my husband see in me, starts whirring through my head and then I can't shut it off.

I then decide I will never eat again, and vow to look as sexy as them (through my weight loss and exercising everyday), then of course I will be able to fit into their clothes, and my husband will find me attractive, and... guess what? That was their intention. To make me feel bad enough about myself, to go out loose weight and be able to purchase their products and of course the diet and exercise industry will benefit as well. Sneaky bastards. This is how eating disorders and negative thoughts about ones body starts.

Really this kind of advertising should be banned. With hope, maybe it will be someday...

Anyway, this is great news about Victoria's Secret, and gives me hope that other stores and advertisers will follow suit. Honestly things are getting way out of hand, pretty soon models will dispense with clothing all together.

It's all about progress. One step at a time right?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'd like to thank the media...

For how I perceive my body. And not in a good way. Now I know that I shouldn't blame others for my problems and issues, but in this case I most certainly can. You see I was happy with myself once. I accepted the way I looked and even though I knew I wasn't cheerleader material or as pretty as the popular girls, I was still acceptable. I always seemed to have a boyfriend, so I must have had some sort of attraction right?

It wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I really started paying attention to the messages that woman were receiving from the media. I would devour the fashion magazines like any girl, and once I was done reading, without fail I would go on a self improvement spree. Beauty products, clothes, shoes etc. Call me dense but it took me quite a while to figure out the connection. After reading the magazines, I would always feel a sort of self loathing about myself. I wasn't pretty enough, I needed to loose weight, the clothes were ugly and outdated etc. Obviously the magazines intention got across loud and clear, and almost unseen too. Very good marketing and sure to bring in huge sales among the various fashion and beauty industries. Good for them, but not good for the average woman. At what expense are they profiting? By lowering our self esteem? By having pre-pubescent children dieting? Eating disorders? The answer is yes. This is what's happening to our society. It is a very real problem.

I do understand this is a two way street. The diet, beauty and fashion industry need to make money. They have found a way to do so, and it works very well. For them. However, woman are increasingly becoming more and more dissatisfied with themselves and are turning to drastic measures to reach a goal of perfection that is impossible. (Folks, plastic surgery used to be for the people who really needed it, like burn victims). Now it's so common it's advertised in magazines and on television. What kind of message are we sending? Especially to children, who are growing up to think that getting botox or a nose job is just as common as your yearly physical checkup.

That bring me to the low self esteem issue. I'm sure it is affecting women and their current or potential relationships. It doesn't help either that men, or I should say boys, are raised on a certain idealized vision of beauty at a very young age. What with the abundance of porn, magazines, videos, and internet, all easily available, they are getting an eyeful. Let's not forget movies and television, mainstream magazines, commercials, and last but not least video games. These all show women to be very sexy, skinny and beautiful in a way that the average woman does not even closely resemble. Men's perception of beauty is greatly skewed. Especially since these women couldn't attain that beauty themselves without excessive dieting (to a dangerous level in some cases), a crew of beauticians, personal trainers, airbrushing, and many other factors. Men are learning a perception of beauty that regular women can't compete with.

I can hear the roar of protests from men all the way from here. Well so what, it needs to be said, and I for one and gonna spread the word..

If you want to check out a cook link on this topic, click on beauty and body image in the media

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My body and me..

Here's the thing. I know I'm supposed to love myself for who I am. The problem is, I don't. I have a very hard time viewing myself as someone who is attractive. Even though plenty of people have told me so, I don't believe them. Why? Because I know the real truth of what I look like without clothes, and folks it isn't pretty. Besides it's always relatives and friends who tell you, how nice you look etc. Here's a clue: These people have to say that. They are your friends, they don't want you to feel bad.

So it won't come as a huge surprise when I announce that I have a rather large issue with my body image. That is why I'm writing this blog. I thought if I wrote how I feel, maybe, 1. it wouldn't seem so bad since I would be getting the emotions out and not keeping them inside, kind of like therapy, and 2. maybe by writing this other people who have this problem can relate and realize that they aren't alone.

I know this is a big issue among women. And it's not surprising, in this age of technology. The way the media bombards us with their idea of the perfect (yet highly unattainable) vision of beauty is shameful. No wonder eating disorders are on the rise, and children as young as nine start their first diets. Absolutely incredible. Women should not be made to feel they are ugly, just because they don't look like a supermodel. I'm starting to wonder if the diet industry isn't directly linked with the fashion industry. It makes perfect sense. The fashion world promotes women and clothes that are unachievable by the average woman and the diet industry reaps the benefits as millions pour money into their services in order to be skinny. Tell me there isn't a connection somewhere.

Clearly something needs to be done, we cannot have a society that has nine year olds dieting and people becoming anorexic/bulimic, because they don't fit into a size zero.

For the moment though, check out, they are a great site to check out how women are exploited and things you can do to help.