If you can dream – and not make dreams your master Kipling
Apparently if you compare the Princess Leia doll produced after the original Star Wars movie circa 1978 and the ones out today, there’s a difference. In the intervening years, her bust size has tripled. Meanwhile, the bodies of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo have mutated from kinda normal to those of bodybuilders.
This according to an article pinned to the wall in the gym I’m using here in Nelson, taken from the Herald, I can’t find it online.
The piece also cites research on Playboy centrefolds over the years. Apparently, just as the image of the ideal woman has got slimmer, so the dimensions of real women have got larger. An interesting case of the ideal and the real drifting further and further apart.
The article referenced The Adonis Complex, a book which focuses on how men are now suffering from a range of disorders due to their inability to match up to the new ideals of how their bodies should look.
It’s interesting how this phenomenon has occurred – how ideals are set up that instead of inspiring us may just depress us. Some people sell the ideals, others buy them.
This is something Greedy Girl and David Burn at AdPulp have been kicking around. (They reference the campaign for Dove Soap, which uses somewhat less perfect images of women – though still hardly representative of the full cross-section)
In my comment there, I say that an aspect of marketing that bothers me is the relentless peddling of impossible ideals – though of course the public plays its part by buying into them. I suspect that there are some good opportunities for brands to get a bit more real with us. It seems to me that this is what the budget airlines have done so effectively in the airline business. Maybe Dove has managed to some degree in the beauty business.
Of course, such a transition will not be easy for some industries as David points out in a comment here. My own hunch, and hope, is that the net fosters conversations that start to eat away at implausible brand ideals…