The South African edition of Marie Claire put together a "body issue," and asked ad agencies to come up with concepts where the thing being advertised is loving your body. An interesting twist from a ladymag — usually such publications are blamed for fostering low-self esteem in women.
One ad features a voluptuous naked woman, glaring defiantly at the camera. The copy reads, "You wish you had Stephanie's skin, and Stephanie wishes she had Tasj's boobs, and Tasj wishes she had Kassie's legs…" and so on, until "And Alex would kill to have your freckles." Another ad marks up a Barbie doll, adding things like laugh lines and a Cesarean scar.
In a third ad, a photograph of a woman has been blacked out in certain areas: Nose, chin, belly, thighs. The haunting question: "If you were to get rid of everything you hated, what would be left?"
The best ad, in my opinion, is the one at the top of this post, by M&C Saatchi. A corpse, prone on a metal table, and the words "when will you stop worrying about your appearance? Love the body you live in." this goes right to the heart of the matter — the perfect body is the not the one with the "right" hip-to-waist ratio, great tits or lack of belly fat. It's the one that lets you live a full, interesting life.
But you have to wonder: Should these ads be targeted only at women? Or do men and women deserve to learn lessons about body acceptance and judging ourselves and others? Because someone commented on this piece — specifically targeting the ad with the naked lady — "[That one] is gross. But I get it. You are trying not to insult your Black female readers. I bet you would never in a million years marry the top right woman." Right, because a woman is only worthwhile if someone she's never met wants to marry her.