Saturday, March 10, 2007
Earth to Bennetton:
I've been walking by a jumbo poster of this Benetton advertisement for about two weeks now, both with Adinah and without her, and I'm thinking,'How the hell am I supposed to explain this to my four-year-old daughter?' Should I tell her, 'Some people don't eat enough.' Or "Some people get paid a lot of money to eat too little?' Or should I just cut to the chase? 'Well, honey, patriarchy sucks and the fashion industry is a bitch.'
Images like this are so everywhere that I usually have to look twice and then ask myself, 'Okay, is this worse than the rest?' And it is. These females of indeterminate age look so sick that looking at them makes me feel ill. Surely that is not the effect Benetton wants to have on it's audience.
And alright, okay, full disclosure: I'm a guy. I like skinny women. But I liked J-Lo when she was still a Chicana and she had back. I also thought Aretha was hot because she was big and she made her own clothes and she didn't give a fuck.
For some reason, this image made me think of Paul Newman. You know, the dreamiest guy that ever played a hero (until George Clooney, that is). There's a movie from the seventies where Paul Newman plays a businessman who is defamed by a well-meaning, but careless journalist, and at the end, he tells her his reputation is ruined. "And who do I talk to about that?" he says.
So it is with this picture. Who do I talk to about this? I'm not mad at the models--they're probably nice people, and they're in a f**ked up business. But please Mr. Benetton, what are you saying to my little girl? How am I supposed to explain this carrot and anorexic schtick to her?