I wanted to take a moment to give a personal example of how deeply engrained in our thinking the struggle with body image is.

Yesterday I encountered an ad for some new Buxom products, (if you’re not familiar with the Buxom line, it’s the plumping sister to Bare Escentuals, featuring plumping glosses, lipsticks, lip balms and now an even wider array of volumizing products), naturally the Buxom characters are curvaceous ladies trussed up like pinup girls for the most part.

The ad from yesterday featured the silhouette of 3 Buxom ladies, one of which had rolls around her middle. We’re talking actual rolls… a muffin top even. I should have taken a picture. Looking at this ad, I found myself dealing with quite the inner conflict.

On the one hand it seemed a poor advertising choice, couldn’t they have made her a bigger girl without giving her lumps? I mean I know Fergie sings about her “lovely lady lumps” but I hardly think this is what she had in mind! However, on the other hand, it occurred to me that when you do see a larger size represented in advertising, whether it’s a model or a character, the shape is still just a slightly larger version of that one ideal they’re constantly feeding us. It’s not realistic, it doesn’t truly represent those of us with curves, it only serves to reinforce in us the need to strive for that ideal shape, while giving us the illusion of acceptance to insure our trust and loyalty.

Maybe this ad was not in poor taste after all, maybe it’s the first honest ad I’ve seen…

I wish that I could say that I’m completely comfortable with the ad, but that’s the whole point of this post; to admit that even in the midst of exhorting this type of honesty, being faced with it I find myself unnerved and battling the urge to think of it as wrong.

On a positive note, I think acknowledging that the conflict exists in me may be one of the first steps to resolving it. And while, in person, I may offer some suggestions for a more flattering way to feature her curves, today I choose to side with the rolls and declare, “Rock on lumpy Buxom girl!”

* As it turns out, the “lumps” were just the shadow of the ‘B’ in Buxom, so this ad wasn’t as honest as I’d have first hoped, but the reaction to it has been extremely honest. No one can tell, or immediately assumes the the lumps are a shadow.

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