Advertisements That Play On Body Insecurities

Currently, there has been more focus on the movement of body positivity. Essentially, the movement centers around all bodies being beautiful, not just the ones that have been deemed “conventionally attractive” in the media. We are starting to see a change in how bodies are shown, especially in the fashion industry. There are some brands that have have done away with photoshop such as Aerie. Other brands have also taken this important step like Target with their swimsuit ads and Dove. However, there are still companies that mask themselves as being body positive, but have harmful body image campaigns as a way to profit off of insecurities women have about their bodies.

This past week, The Good Place actress, Jameela Jamil criticized an Avon ad that shamed women for cellulite on their body as a means to sell a beauty product. On her twitter account she responded: “And yet EVERYONE has dimples on their thighs, I do, you do, and the CLOWNS at @Avon_UK certainly do. Stop shaming women about age, gravity and cellulite. They’re inevitable, completely normal things. To make us fear them and try to “fix”them, is to literally set us up for failure”1.  Women’s bodies do and will continue to come in all shapes and sizes. Trying to make women more insecure about their bodies is a ploy done to make them want to purchase goods or services that will let them be closer to this ideal image of women that often does not exist.

For years, there have been conversations about body image and the media. These discussions taking place are essential because there are real life consequences to toxic body ideas such as eating disorders, lower self-esteem, and other mental health issues. Even those who are happy with their body image, like me, can feel discouraged sometimes when being constantly bombarded by advertisements that point out what they deem to be “imperfections”. Therefore, let’s continue to push towards more messages of body positivity, critiquing companies that are putting forward harmful ads, and remembering that you are always beautiful in the skin that you are in!