"Dove Victoria's Secret Campaigns"Woman of a Certain Age, by Marcia Barhydt

I recently saw a post on Facebook comparing the models of Victoria’s Secret with the models of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. The photos stopped me in my track! If you visit this page, you’ll see what I’m talking about… https://www.facebook.com/WillowWords or https://www.facebook.com/beutifulmag

If you can’t see the page, let me describe it to you. There are 2 photos, one from Victoria’s Secret and one from Dove. Both photos are of young women in their underwear, panties and a bra.

I’ve spoken before about the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty which started out addressing pre-teens and ended up highlighting older women, making the point that we’re all beautiful just the way we are, no matter what age we are, no matter what size we are.

Now Victoria’s Secret is jumping on the bandwagon with their own campaign called Love My Body Campaign. It turns out though that this campaign isn’t so much about loving your body as it is about buying a new line of Victoria’s lingerie.

BUT if this were a real competition, how would it play out I wonder. Do we all still covet the skinny minny body of a runway model or a magazine model? Are there those of us who still are unaware of Photo Shopping of all models magazine photos to digitally remove both blemishes and pounds?

How many of our little sisters, our daughters, our granddaughters are dieting to fit in, at least in their own eyes, to the body flashed over every kind of media advertising? So then, can we lay the blame for this travesty of our young girls at the feet of the Madison Avenue ad agencies? Or the Paris couturiers? Or at the feet of the consumers, our young girls? Is their buy-in influenced by a genuine desire to fit in?

The topic is a huge one that’s very much in the spotlight today as some pioneers, Seventeen Magazine, Special K cereal, or Wilhelmina Models and Vogue Magazine are becoming aware of the backlash to their oh-so-skinny models. Well, good then, for the pioneers.

There is, I believe, another frontier where this battle needs to be fought: right here in our own lives and the lives of our daughters. We need to make sure that our daughters know how beautiful they are no matter what their body shape is.

And we need to make sure that we know it too.

I’m a woman of a certain age, and I’m certain about my beauty.

©Marcia Barhydt, 2012