Dove ads, an added bonus thought
First of all, these ads are seriously not made for them. If they want to feel that nice happy tingle in their nether regions over an ad, they have plenty of places to look. Damn well everything advertised to men uses busty gumby-thin women as backdrops or accessories. Really, if they don't want to look at the Dove ads, they can do what they're obviously doing when it comes to the real women walking past them on the street or in their office (or, God help the poor gals, in their homes): avert their eyes and pretend they don't exist. There will be eye-candy on the next El stop, I guarantee it. These guys are not hurting for options, no matter what their puffed-up sense of entitlement demands. They have enough; we can have this scrap of the advertising world to call our own.
Second of all, I'm still staggered at the idea that they feel that these women should not be seen. I'm sorry, what? They seem to feel the need to scold the advertisers, to chastise them, to put these women back in their proper place-- amongst the unseen, ignorable masses. They don't want to see them posing and proud and sexy up on a billboard. Possibly the key word there is "proud"-- here we have it again, this sense that if a woman is not perfect, she needs to be shamed. That the only women who have the right to bring attention to themselves are the perfect women-- so defined as the ones who are desirable and hence can be dismissed as sex objects. Maybe I'm overanalyzing this, but there's a definite sense here that these guys want to put these women in their place. Knock them down. Shake a chiding finger at them. Shame them. Remind them of what their proper role in life is-- being invisible. Like a child. Or a servant.
Dude. Very bigoted.
Third, what the hell is up with this idea that billboards are to be reserved for unattainably perfect specimens that one can fantasize about-- and the corresponding, unspoken assumption that ordinary women are not fantasy material? My God, what did men ever do for fantasy before there was internet porn and sex-saturated advertising? They were stuck having to fantasize about women they saw in their normal lives. For some of them that would mean that they never saw a "really attractive" woman. Somehow I very much doubt that they felt they were missing out, or that their masturbatory activities suffered for it.
I'm envy those girls their confidence. I don't know if I'll ever be that confident-- I'm always vulnerable to jackasses like this, have been ever since the first "fatty, fatty, two-by-four" chant. I don't know if I could go on a billboard-- oh, I could pose for it, all right, and I'd toss my hair and have a whale of a time, but looking at the proofs? having to agree to have people see photographic evidence? Oh, man, that's where I'd lose it completely. I'd feel like I'd been caught pretending to be something I'm not.
I know, I know. Even after going-on-two-years, I still catch myself feeling like that-- like I'm faking it, like some great official judge is going to come by and say, "You're guilty of acting like a skinny girl; go home and don't come out until you're properly swathed in eight layers of drapy clothing." I know. I'm trying.
I do know that I'm sexy-- I know that that sort of thing isn't about what's on your ass, it's about what's in your eyes and what's lurking in your smile, it's about how you move and what you know. A friend of mine once told me that sexy is eye contact and a sly little smile when you're projecting the thought, "Why don't you take me home and fuck me?" Honestly, I've never seen anything to prove that wrong, male or female. That's why we have the phrase "bedroom eyes", not "bedroom ass". It's all in what you project. It's all in the attitude. The rest of the stuff is just an excuse.
I'm still so mad. There's nothing you can do with this sort of people except to hold your head high and live in spite of them, because the petty little shits will never be convinced to change their minds. That's how you can tell a prejudice from a thought-out opinion: a prejudice pulls out whatever excuse is handy and doesn't care if it makes sense, if it's proven to be complete bullshit, or even if goes along with the excuse used the day before; a well-thought-out opinion is constant, based in logic, and if it's proven wrong, the person holding it will adjust the opinion accordingly.
These are not thought-out opinions that these men are spouting. These are prejudices. Fuck 'em.