So, from a utterly pointless piece of research to a genuinely interesting one.
As we know, when it comes to paradigms of beauty, it’s usual for people to pass the buck. “Fashion shoots are forced to use size 0 models because designers make size 0 sample clothes” is a classic. The least watertight excuse, however, is the notion that thin sells. Advertisers/marketers claim they use unhealthily slender models because that is what the public want, that is what we respond to and that is what prompts us to part with our hard earned cash. We want, they claim, to quite literally buy into a fantasy World inhabited exclusively by a demographic of people who, in reality, represent less than 1% of the Global population’s natural and healthy body shape. A World in which, conveniently for them, a pair of shoes, a lipgloss, or even a kitchen utensil can offer us a gateway into the fantasy World we apparently crave – A slice of the low calorie pie.
Well, a new study recently undertaken in Australia has decisively proven this long-touted theory to be, for want of a more elegant expression, utter bollocks. Hurrah.
A huge cross section of subjects were shown adverts depicting a traditionally slender model and a plus size model showcasing identical products and were found to be just as likely to buy the item in either case. They were not off-put by the more realistic image.
So, that now means that the powers that be will now have to invent another excuse if they continue to refuse to showcase a variety of different body types in their marketing. May I suggest the following:
1. We will not use plus size models because we are lazy and wish to continue as we always have.
2. We will not use plus size models because we are actively terrified at the prospect of change.
3. We will not use plus size models for unspecified religious reasons we have been instructed not to speak about publically.
Or, my personal favourite:
4. We will not use plus size models because we are evil body facists and want any member of the public who weighs more than 7 stone to feel like crap.