In our Daddy Issues series, a father of a young daughter seeks guidance, hoping to raise a strong woman. He looks to our readers for insight.
Call it a tale of two commercials.
One was your typical Victoria's Secret lingerie piece with skinny women and their breasts hawking something about Angels bras (is it just me, or is the Angels line not as sexy as they think? I hear angels and immediately think of chubby little wee cherubs with halos and sawed-off wings — mmm, sexy, I know).
The other was a Fruit of the Loom commercial with underwear for the rest of the world — regular people who eat more than 2,000 calories a day and have rolls and handles and, gasp, waddles.
I was watching TV with my 4-year-old daughter when these commercials aired and I braced for the questions.
"Why isn't that lady wearing clothes?"
"What's up with those stupid wings anyway?"
"Is that what girls grow up to be?"
What followed instead was radio silence, although I started to wonder just how much influence these commercials and images and body messages will come to have in her life when she gets older and starts watching more TV or flipping through magazines or web sites.
It was nice to see examples of regular people in advertising on the Fruit of the Loom commercial, but I was surprised to find I wasn't as annoyed by Victoria's sexy saturation and ode to impossible bodies as I thought I'd be. I admit I may be the wrong man to talk about bodies and subliminal messages, but are these advertisements really so bad for young girls?