The ‘one size’ of hotness

The above Levi Jeans Ad campaign started making the rounds through popular women’s magazine earlier this year. Appearing in both Cleo and Cosmopolitan magazines, it shows three very skinny girls with the slogan: “Hottness comes in all shapes and sizes”.

Are we looking at the same picture? To me, those girls are the same size. I’m not seeing any kind of diversity there. Simply putting in a nice quote is not enough – the girls actually have to embody the message for it to hit home.

It’s seeing ads like these in magazines that drives me crazy. What is the point of trying to educate girls about diversity in body shape and sending positive body messages in editorial content if the editors are simply going to approve the inclusion of an ad like this to appear alongside?

It’s just confusing to readers. This ad is essentially saying that hotness only comes in people sitting embodying slight variations on a size 8 figure. But the ad calls this size 8, ‘all sizes’ and ‘all shapes’. Newsflash, there’s quite a few more sizes than that! The average Australian woman is a size 14-16, yet this ad totally excludes all women of that size, larger sizes and those smaller.

The ad itself can be interpreted as confusing, insulting, misleading, and just plain inaccurate. Pairing this with editorial content telling girls to love their bodies the way they are is a ridiculous way to send positive body messages. The editorial content is likely quite inspiring to the reader,  until the reader looks at the ad and gets completely demotivated about loving herself the way she is. In a way this ad is the perfect embodiment of the way it is for women in the real world, particularly when going shopping. For some women it can be a real challenge to find clothes to fit their body shape with clothing outlets that adhere to this idea that if they stock sizes 6-8 then that’s variety enough.

To read more about the Levi’s ad campaign, check out this article which talks about the ad in relation to a US audience.