Corporate Feminism

This is comical. SMH reports on Marie Claire magazine, combining with Butterfly Foundation, putting Marie Claire on its cover naked. This is to raise awareness….. of the need for women to have healthy body images. This was progressive, they say, because they didn’t airbrush the photo.

That’s right. They chose a supermodel, Miss Universe or whatever she won, to make this point. Not only this, the head of the Foundation explained further:

Foundation general manager Julie Parker, speaking on Radio 3AW today, said the photo, which apparently shows ‘flaws’ including a slightly dimpled thigh and a tiny crease on her waist, was intended to get the discussion on body image rolling.

That’s right. You’re meant to see supposedly the most beautiful woman in the world, and notice a dimple in her thigh and a crease in her waist – unforgiveable “flaws”. It’s remarkable that these are supposed to be flaws, and that the head of this organisation is actually criticising the appearance of Jennifer Hawkins, which apparently isn’t good enough for Ms Parker. The article also notes Hawkins is in makeup. Of course she is. They have to make her beautiful enough, don’t they?

Then Parker has the audacity to explain why what she’s doing is progressive:

“It’s so excessive in magazines these days and young girls and women are constantly telling us that they don’t even know what they’re looking at any more, and what they want to see is more real, untouched and natural photos of celebrities and people in magazines, and I think this delivers that.”

So to help girls and women see normal looking women, they’ve chosen a supermodel, with presumably expertly applied makeup. Yes, this is perfectly reasonable. Then we learn the real reason for the measure:

When asked why the foundation did not put forward a more average Australian woman, Ms Parker said magazines had tried that tactic in the past, to no avail.

“The thing is unfortunately it doesn’t make the same point, because Jennifer sells magazines and she creates awareness. If Marie Claire had chosen to put on their cover an ordinary women, say myself or a friend of yours, it would not have created the awareness it does.”

Oh, she sells magazines? Having a naked supermodel sells magazines? I might’ve thought it was about something else. And I think we should be unequivocal about the issues involved. Magazines like Marie Claire presumably get most of their revenue from advertising. They can’t afford to tell readers that women don’t need makeup and all that shit. Instead, they tell women about the sorts of “flaws” Parker mentioned, and then sell products so that people can look like the Jennifer Hawkins who they feature on every single cover, so that their readers receive the important message that they are ugly and abnormally hideous, but if only they bought a few dozen things in the magazine, they would be a little less worthless as women.

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