Did you hear about this? A couple of days ago, Brandweek reported that Fox and ABC shunned a sexy lingerie ad for plus-size (sizes 14-32) chain clothier, Lane Bryant. The company posted on their Inside Curve blog that, “ABC and Fox have made the decision to define beauty for you by denying our new, groundbreaking Cacique commercial from airing freely on their networks.”
Are you ready for an X-rated, risque, practically-porno commercial? Ok, here it is:
What do you think? Salacious? Scandalous? Uh, no, not exactly. I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing controversial or inappropriate about this ad. Lane Bryant explains that “ample cleavage” was what caused all the commotion. Excuse me? a.) It’s a LINGERIE ad! b.) These same networks air Victoria’s Secret ads—one of which my boyfriend actually said upon viewing, “Eww gross,” because one of the newer “Angels” clearly has a severe case of freaky Lisa Rinna lips and ‘look at my sexy skeletor ribcage’ syndrome.
So, what’s the real problem? As the Lane Bryant puts it: “[This commercial represents] the sensuality of the curvy woman who has more to show the world than the typical waif-like lingerie model. What we didn’t know was that the networks, which regularly run Victoria’s Secret and Playtex advertising on the very shows from which we’re restricted, would object to a different view of beauty. If Victoria’s Secret and Playtex can run ads at any time during the 9pm to 10pm hour, why is Lane Bryant restricted only to the final 10 minutes?”
Much has been said about the hypocrisy here when it comes to size. But, I think there’s another dimension to the double standard… It’s not only because our glossy magazine-loving society is terrified of/threatened by real women’s bodies. It’s because we’re especially freaked out by real women’s sexuality. (Several hundred years after the days of The Scarlet Letter, you woulda thought we’d be beyond this, but no…) Maybe FOX and ABC should come clean and put their stance out in a memo that reads something like: We will freely air and not hinder the editing and timing of sexy lingerie ads—if, and only if, the female sexuality on display is delivered in a package that screams “complete and utter fantasy.” For instance, we will not restrict ads that feature unattainable figures (i.e. 6 ft. tall and 110 lbs.) and/or perfectly round, man-made breasts. If the models look like aliens next to your average 5’3″ female with hips and cellulite, then we’re OK with it. On the other hand, we have a big problem with the lovely brunette in Lane Bryant’s new ad, because she could be your neighbor, sister or accountant. You see, reality plus female sexuality equals danger danger, NSFW, restricted viewing zone.
Agree, disagree? Am I taking a whacko-sensitive feminist stance or do you think maybe its time we stand up to these nutty networks and tell them that our eyes won’t be scarred for life if we see a little D-cup cleave?
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