Sunday, December 18, 2005

Better Than Average Joe

I happened to see Adam Mesh this morning. He was on his way into the gym, and I have to say, he is quite cute in person, not at all "average". It's interesting to me that the television-watching public wants to believe that this is what "average" is. It reminds me of those Dove ads, where really attractive women with really nice figures (albeit not waifishly thin) are called "real women" with "real curves", when in fact, the women featured in the ads are way above average in terms of attractiveness. Those may be "real curves", but they sure aren't average.

What is even more interesting to me is that "average", even amped up to above-average levels, doesn't really sell. A friend of mine who works in marketing theorizes that people don't WANT to identify with their "models". As consumers, they hope to trade UP, not make an even exchange. And maybe that is true for some people.

But as for me, I think there might be something else at work here. When I look at the girls in the Dove ad, I recognize myself in a couple of them, particularly the athletic-looking fair-haired girl in the middle and the petite but curvy dark-haired girl on the far right. And the truth is, as much as I know that I am no Ford model, I don't feel like being reminded of it in magazine ads and billboards. Especially not in ads and billboards that tell me that THIS is average, when I know in my heart of hearts that it most certainly is not.

I always tell my boys that they are the handsomest and best boys in the world. I hope that they always believe on some level that they are. I wouldn't want them to see someone much like themselves on a television show or a magazine ad being called "average" and then have to wonder if maybe they really are as well.

And now, one of those handsomest, best boys in the world is demanding to use the computer to accessMajor League Baseball'swebsite, so I will get off of my average soapbox (despite that it ads a good six inches to my BELOW-average height).




samasthiti said...

I know a woman who doesn't like her husband to tell her daughter she is the most beautiful girl in the world. She thinks it's setting her up for disappointment when she'd older as there are always going to be "more beautiful" women than her. UGH!
I say tell her all the time! If everyone did that with their children we'd have a world full of confidant beautiful people, beautiful from the inside.

yoga chickie said...

I guess that woman was pretty disappointed, herself, somehow, by someone...right? Sad that she doesn't see it and stop the cycle. I do love the line from Spanglish, from mom to grown daughter: "Lately, your low self-esteem is just good sense."


samasthiti said...

I am pretty sure, as she spends an awful lot of her time trying to out perform Martha Stewart. I hope her husband secretly whispers it in her little girls ear all the time anyway!
Some writer on Oprah said she learned to smile with her eyes every time her children walked into the room. Something I have tried to remember to do since I heard that.....

yoga chickie said...

It's not hard to do...the smiles about our kids are genuine!

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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