By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
I don't know about you, but I reached my limit on the whole Jennifer Aniston "No, please don't pity svelte, fabulously wealthy me because of Brad & Angelina" thing about two minutes after it happened. Hey, I'd have issues too (if my husband had come home and told me he was going to be "working" with Angelina Jolie, I would have locked him in the closet for several months.) But, c'mon - Brangelina have had three kids already. Yet, Aniston is still talking, most recently in interviews to promote the warm and fuzzy Marley and Me. And, of course, it makes perfect sense for her to be posing nude on magazine covers to promote a movie about a dog.
I'm sure Ms. Aniston thinks the photo shoots are fun, helping her career and showing her power over her image. (See? I'm secure enough to pose nude at 39! Take that Angelina!) I give her credit, she does look great, but...what she thinks she's showing and what people are seeing can be very different things.
Of course the entertainment industry is all about image - and women, with some notable exceptions such as Meryl Streep, have a tough time working when the wrinkles start to show. There's definitely a different set of rules for women than men (duh!). You don't see - say, Richard Gere - naked on the cover of GQ wearing nothing but a tie.
For every person that sees a gorgeous, confident nude woman - there's another who sees HOT nekkid girl. Words and phrases like "empowered," "mature" "confident woman" and "serious actress" are most decidedly not going through that guy's head when - um -"thinking" about Jennifer Aniston.
Ah, you reply, Sex Sells...
But, does it? And, exactly what is it selling?
(And for those of you who think I'm simply a grumpy old feminist - I've got nothing against nudity or getting naked. It can be fun, artistic and even appropriate. I even still have the Vanity Fair in which Brad Pitt posed nude, promoting the movie, Troy. But, I didn't buy that issue because it was "artistic" or I thought he was a great actor...When marketing anything, we've got to keep in mind how people will respond to what we show and say.)