Then I saw a clip on The Colbert Report where Stephen Colbert spoke about a new deodorant from Dove, their Go Sleeveless deodorant. This stuff promises to leave underarms “softer, smoother and ready to reveal” in five days. Colbert, even with all the sarcasm and snark, manages to hit the nail right on the head though when he points out that it is just one more thing marketed to women by telling us that there is something wrong with our bodies the way they are.
Seriously, we’re already bombarded with messages about how many aspects of the female form needs to improve: abs, butt, legs, breasts, eyes, lips, hair, etc. Do we really need to throw the armpit into the mix?
It just makes me wonder when the turning point was where companies started to cater to women’s insecurities (or started to create more insecurities) to sell products. Magazines are doing the same thing to us. Every cover screams at us the ways that we are doing things wrong… not only in terms of our bodies but in terms of how we live our lives. We need to “lose inches” and “drop pounds” and “shed sizes” while managing careers, health, families, friendships at the same time. We’re supposed to be able to keep everything organized and clean while cooking gourmet meals and homeschooling children and climbing the corporate ladder. It’s no wonder we’re stressed and tired and looking for any fix that may come in a bottle.
Recently I’ve decided that my subscription to Real Simple magazine is doing anything BUT making my life Real Simple. It actually kind of stresses me out… like I’m supposed to care about 7 pages of how to decorate my home with blue and the way I’m supposed to cook all these meals that provide wonderful flavor and nutrition (for my uber-picky husband).
When I entered treatment for my eating disorder I canceled subscriptions to Shape, Prevention, Self, Women’s Health… all of which I felt gave out too many messages about losing weight as opposed to just being healthy. As I’ve written on my About page, I really feel that being healthy is the optimal expression of the genetic hand we’re working with… not some outside imposed perception of what health is. We’re all individuals so “health” will be expressed a little bit differently for each of us.
So the next time you see some advertising, remember… they aren’t necessarily trying to help you but are trying to make money off you and all the ways we perceive that we are “less than”… and you are “more than”!