Yes, you – you’re already so powerful, in your imperfect, freckled, wrinkled, stretch-marked, age-spotted skin.
I know, a run down of all our imperfections like that: scary when you see it all in one place right? 🙂
I also know though that it’s true, and finally retailers are starting to catch on: it’s much much easier (and ultimately much more profitable!) to meet people where they are, and sell them stuff that makes them feel good now, than to sell them stuff that really just makes them feel bad!
I saw two perfect illustrations of this change over the last week.
First, good old Victoria’s Secret Perfect Body campaign. We don’t have that brand in Australia, but even here we’ve seen the images and the resulting furore demanding that they take down the campaign because they’re continuing to promote unrealistic ideals.
Next, a report that another clothing brand, American Eagle, are seeing an impressive and significant upswing in their sales nearly a year after they made the decision to stop photoshopping their models. They joined UK department store Debenhams and other European outlets in choosing to use more ‘natural’ looking women.
The models are all still very young, thin and beautiful of course – 70% of media IS still controlled by men.
And the reason for the change is not because it will help women’s sense of self-worth; it is to boost profits. It is to say to women: “We get it, you want to see our stuff worn by women who are more like you. We’re doing that. Come and spend your money here.”
So this change is profit motivated. That’s not bad news though: it means that retailers are acknowledging the power of you, the consumer, to spend your money at places that make you feel good!
Victoria’s Secret haven’t got that message yet. I guess they’re still attracting enough women who love their stuff. But how long can they sustain that in the face of a growing consumer backlash? Even Abercrombie’s have tried to reverse their negative results that were influenced by consumers’ unhappiness over their ‘exclude anyone over size 12’ policy (it hasn’t worked yet, maybe they just pissed off too many people!).
Consumers are remembering that they hold the ultimate power, not advertisers, and not retailers.
And you, by reading this post, following this blog, and remembering that YOU choose how your feel about your own amazing unique body – you’re changing the world, forcing the world to acknowledge your diversity. You’re not changing your body. You’re Incredibly Powerful lovely 🙂