[Glossed Over] So We’re Back to Real Life. And “Real Beauty.”

How much have you missed me?!

Hopefully not too much since you had the whole Best of Beauty U series to keep you entertained, plus two riveting guest posts (thanks again Kate, who wants to see pictures of you eating cake, and Siobhan/Alexandra — who have just started offering clean beauty regimen consultations, FYI. If you live near them, one will even come to your house and go through all your makeup and stuff with you. I mean! They are like the coolest big sisters you never had!).

But we’re all reunited now and I know I feel better.

And am having fun getting all caught up on everything that happened in the wide world of beauty while I was off the grid. Like, check it:

photo of Levis ad "all asses were not created equal"

Via Shelby Knox.

And then this!

photo of Lane Bryant Real Women Dollars

Via Teenagerie.

OK, so are we all clear on this?

Levis celebrates your real body (and all its myriad curves) by showing you how three identically sized skinny women look in different pants. (I’m leaving the whole problematic “created equal” thing to Shelby because she nailed that.)

Lane Bryant celebrates your real body with coupons if you buy stuff. Unless you are smaller than their size 14 to 32 range — and therefore a fake woman. (What are you really? I have no idea. Presumably a unicorn dressed up in a skinny girl costume. Or a mermaid who has traded her love of carbs for a pair of legs. Or some other fantastical creature that real women cannot possibly understand or aspire to be.)

I want to be excited about both of these ads. We’ve talked before about the impossibility of finding jeans that fit. So I want to be all, “ooh! They’re finally making jeans for women without waists!” because that’s something I wish for, along with world peace and chocolate. And “yay, jeans for women with waists too!” because all of my friends with more defined hip-midriff ratios are always complaining about that gap in the back business. And then with Lane, I want to be like, go LB, making cute clothes for women who can’t find a damn thing that fits them at Levis (or Gap, or J. Crew or whoever). And with the coupons, too!

But instead, I just have to feel grumpy because taken separately or together, they convey the same gross message:

That there are “real women”and there are “beautiful women.” And we never get to shop at the same stores.



Filed under beauty standards, Glossed Over.

5 responses to “[Glossed Over] So We’re Back to Real Life. And “Real Beauty.”

  1. I used to work in retail, and I worked at a well-known womens’ clothing store.

    We would get women all the time who didn’t fit into our sizes (up to a 14). When they realized this they would either get sad, or they would get defensive. Both were heartbreaking to witness.

    Once a woman came charging into the store, clearly on a mission, and all but shouted at my most timid (and size-0) associate, “do you carry clothes for REAL WOMEN?”

    I went over in Manager-Mode, all smiles, and began to explain the types of clothes we carried. “NO.” The woman said. “REAL WOMEN.”

    “Oh.” I said, finally getting it. “We have up to size 14 in stores, and size 20 online.”

    “So you DON’T have clothes for REAL WOMEN.” She snarled, and stormed out.

    As an adult I have worn size 8 through size 16, my mother is much larger and I go shopping with her often, and I GET IT, ok? But to tell my size-10 self or my associate’s size-0 self that we weren’t “real women”? Gah. I hate that term. Why can’t we have stores that carry a wider range of sizes?

  2. Must be the latest marketing trend – Target is also doing something similar (several fits / styles). I’m in agreement with you – part of me is Yay! I like options. But there’s a bigger part that’s Boo – companies still present us with a few pretty girl models that really doesn’t represent accurately me or 99% of my friends.

  3. gosh I couldn’t agree with you more!

    I just by total fluke found 2 pair of CHEAP pants that I grabbed on the go (because my tot was having a melt-down and it was time to go)

    and got home (fully prepared to be depressed for a month over my attempt to find jeans) and they fit…and fit well.

    Now I am giddy but at the same time I am curious how this exact scenario has so much power to control me. Same with the scale.

    it’s mind boggling!

  4. erin

    if you go onto Levi’s website and look at the different modelsl for the curve id — you can see women of (almost) all sizes wearin them. up to a size 14.

  5. Pingback: A Flapper Daughter Responds. « Beauty Schooled

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