I was reading through Jane magazine yesterday when I came across a couple of the new Nike Women ads. I have to say, they are striking. I’ve spent the last couple of minutes trying to find the text for some of them online—-this is the main site—just because they are so cool. Because I can’t, I’ll just quote it straight from the page. This one is about the butt:

My butt is big
And round like the letter C
And ten thousand lunges
Have made it rounder
But not smaller
And that’s just fine.
It’s a space heater
For my side of the bed
It’s my ambassador
To those who walk behind me
It’s a border collie
That herds skinny women
Away from the best deals
At clothing sales.
My butt is big
And that’s just fine
And those who might scorn it
Are invited to kiss it.

I think this is impressive, on many levels, as well as a little ironic. I love Jane magazine, have subscribed for years, but a few months ago I got really unnerved by one of their photo spreads: the girl in it was so skinny, she looked sick, anorexic. I’ve always liked Jane because it wasn’t just about women looking pretty. The articles were smart, and well-written, and they always seemed to make a point that all women have their strengths, regardless of your looks. But as the fashion got more and more severe, and scary looking, I wondered if that was still true. So it’s interesting to see this ad, celebrating the broad backside, while the girls in the photo spreads are clearly not of the larger posterior variety.

I’m not the only person thinking about this, these days. There’s been a lot written about these ads, as well as the new ones for Dove, which feature real women. The truth is, fashion models are always going to be really skinny, and no amount of clever advertising is going to change that. But these smaller things do help to show there IS another option, if you’re not a size two and six feet tall. That there is beauty in everything and all of us, in a million little ways, even if you don’t always see it staring back at you when you flip open a magazine. I could diet forever and do crunches all day long, and I still wouldn’t look like Paris Hilton. Or Jennifer Aniston. Or Lindsay Lohan. It’s just not possible. But maybe that’s not the problem. Maybe, the problem is that somehow, somewhere, I got the message I should want to look like that, and not like me. These new ads probably won’t change that entirely. But they do make a difference.

Okay, enough ranting. I’ll just leave you with another one of the Nike ads, about knees:

My knees are tomboys.
They get bruised and cut
Every time I play soccer.
I’m proud of them
And wear my dresses short.
My mother worries
I will never marry
With knees like that.
But I know
There’s someone out there
Who will say to me:
I love you
And I love your knees.
I want the four of us
To grow old together.

Nice, right? I don’t know who wrote that but they deserve a raise.

Have a good day, everyone!
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