It's All in The Details, Baby
July 20, 2006
Ok...the resource for today's post isn't necessarily the first place you'd look for information on marketing to women. It's a man's magazine and yes - before you write and chastize me - I know there's a girlie-section. Lots of skin. I don't have a problem with that. In a man's magazine. I might be a bit jealous of the women showing off all that skin, except - I used to do it when I was young and thin and attractive. And, this post isn't about sex - or the representation of sex - it's about weight and babies. So, if you're into the girlie-section, go for it. Otherwise, keep reading.
Let's talk weight first. The magazine shouts out this headline in the article in question: "Why FAT is Back in Hollywood."
Well, first of all...I'm not sure I like the word 'fat' as they're using it. They're associating 'fat' with beauty - as in Drew Barrymore. As in one of the most famous curvaceous women in history - Mae West. As in Catherine Zeta-Jones. Or, Marilyn Monroe. A little mixture of sexy 50s women, next to new millennium beauties.
None of those women are 'fat'...but they certainly are curvaceous. Round in all the right places. With a come-hither look in their eyes. (I'm thinking of Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago, and how much better she looked than Renee Zellweger - who was so anorexic she looked scary.)
Here's a quote from the article that makes me smile, "I'll tell you something - the chubby chicks aren't the ones turning the lights off during sex." Eloquently said by costume designer, Mona May. Hear, hear!
And so...the closing paragraph in the article is worth noting here - on a blog that supports women, "And indeed, when so many actresses make millions, rake in designer clothes, and land modeling contracts, the thinnest of the thin always stand out from the pack. We just hope that the Goodwins, Moores, and Mols taking to the screen flip that paradigm on its head - and represent the shape of things to come." Holly Millea deserves kudos for her article. (I'm not sure I spelled her last name correctly. If you know her, please have her send me the correct spelling. I did not receive the article in a format that made her name easily readable.)
Let's talk babies now. This men's magazine apparently has intelligent editors. Who know a good story when they see one. Who can resist babies?
Once again, the article title shouts for attention across a crowded room, "It's A BABY Not a Billboard!"
What? Whoever said babies were billboards? Well, in all honesty, the whole world knows that if you really want to sell something, really, really want to sell something - you use a baby. I'm not sure a picture of a baby will actually spark sales, but...it will get attention. No argument there.
This article goes on to note that, "A new baby appears to be a small, helpless human being. In fact, it is the greatest prop known to mankind." [are you paying attention - prop, billboard, marketing... see how they all work together?]
Author Pete Weils (sp) tells us that dressing baby has become a male past time, to help men in their late 30s and 40s hold onto their youth. He says, "A generation ago you didn't see fathers standing in baby boutiques avidly thumbing through shelves of onesies, but then a generation ago you couldn't find onesises emblazoned with Dodge Charges, Sid Vicious, Che Guevara, the Rolling Stones lips logo, or the leprechaun who pitches magically delicious Lucky Charms."
This really great article reveals some fascinating things about today's male. For instance, I found this little tidbit quite telling: "Oprah keeps saying 'Kids' are not you, they just pass through you,' says Robert Wilder, author of Daddy Needs a Drink, a new book of essays on fatherhood. But when your kids are little, they don't know anything. So when you dress them, it is an extension of yourself, and anybody who says it's not is crazy."
I didn't say it. He said it. Looks like today's Dad is turning into Mom.
So, is that a good thing...or not? I leave you to contemplate a world where women can be soft and cuddly and sexy to the max, and babies, with their cubby cheeks and fat knees, sport designer labels or sports T-shirts, to the pleasure of Dad, in both cases.
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