Before I go any farther, please watch the following two videos:
And please look at these pictures:
And now, the brouhaha.
Several weeks ago, Lane Bryant released the commercial that you just saw for viewing during “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday nights, and “American Idol” on Tuesday nights. Both of those shows aired the Victoria’s Secret ad. The pictures above are also from those two shows. The dancer is ‘DWTS’ professional dancer Edyta Sliwinska, and the ‘American Idol Bikini Girl’ appeared on the show during the 2009 season.
Well, when officials at both ABC and FOX saw the Lane Bryant commercial, it was pulled from the lineup. Why? Several excuses have been bandied about, but the bottom line is that they felt that the LB Model, Ashley Graham, showed too much cleavage, that sex was implied because they showed the text that said, “Meet Mark for lunch”, and then she left the house in nothing but her undies and a coat.
Excuse me? Too much cleavage? IMPLIED SEX?
This is ABC we’re talking about, right? ABC, home of “The Bachelor”? Nope, no cleavage or implied sex there. None at all. And FOX, home of “The Simpsons”? There has been plenty of questionable behavior and innuendo in that show, which, it could be argued, is directed more at children than DWTS and American Idol combined. It’s a cartoon, after all. Fox also regularly airs NASCAR events. I watch those with Josh all the time. And what commercials do I see, at nearly every commercial break during the 3+ hour race? Viagra. Cialis. You want to discuss “implied sex”???
So what, really, was the problem with the ad?
Ashley Graham. Yes, Ms. Graham was the problem. That beautiful but full-figured (size 16, for the record) woman in the Lane Bryant ad. Apparently, the bigwigs at Fox and ABC don’t think that women over an emaciated size 2 should be portrayed as anything but obese and unhealthy. Certainly, they are not to be portrayed as women who are beautiful, self-confident, and able to get a date. They are absolutely not to be viewed as sexual creatures in any way. That’s reserved for the Victoria’s Secret models who have advertised on their shows for years.
And the dancers on their shows.
And the contestants on their shows.
And the cartoon characters on their shows.
ABC and FOX can hide behind their Standards and Practices departments all they want. They can throw all the ‘innuendo’ excuses in the book at us, but their hypocrisy speaks for itself when you turn on ‘Dancing’ and see cleavage a-flyin’. When you turn on ‘Idol’ and see the outrageous costumes that contestants wear, both on their own and during the finals when they are dressed by professionals. When you turn on ‘Bachelor’ and see barely-clad women crawling, sometimes two at a time, crawling all over some poor excuse for a man. When you turn on either show and see the Victoria’s Secret Models vamping in little more than lace-embellished dental floss.
The nice thing in all of this? The ‘censorship’ practiced by both stations backfired on them. The Lane Bryant commercial has gone viral. Ashley Graham has been on everything from Good Morning America to Access Hollywood. And her lovely curves are being hailed as refreshing and real.
So thanks, ABC and FOX, for being hypocrites. Full-figured women everywhere salute you.
I’m so saddened by this. Those Victoria Secret specials they have on have embarrassed me at times and I’ve talked MANY times in the past how I hate all the Viagra and such ads.
I think all the women are beautiful. I don’t think super skinny is good looking. Not emancipated. That’s gross I think. I think the dancers and beautiful but they are like athletes. I also think the Lane Bryant girls is beautiful. Why do people just look at that?
I’m still simmering and don’t have all the works formed right. It’s all so hypocritical and for them to think we buy what their reasoning is quite frankly, dark age beliefs.
I”ll be back.
This pissed me off beyond belief…I’ll write tomorrow though. It’s late and I’m going to become one with my couch!
I think it’s ridiculous also. That model is beautiful. I’m tired off all the sex stuff period. It’s in commercials, sitcoms, cartoons and reality shows that shouldn’t have anything to do with sex but somehow it gets in there. (No pun intended!) I should be able to watch TV in the afternoon and early evening without fearing my children are going to ask me what an erection is or why the Tampax Pearl is the right fit or what a sex tape is! Come on people!!!!!
Thanks Laura, for this post. It is indeed hypocritical of the highest level. I love this commercial with Lane Bryant. This commercial is not about sex, it is about underwear. Let Fox and ABC sensor their shows more carefully. Like American Idol last night. Lady Gaga, what the heck was she wearing!!! And young girls are watching that show. Aren’t they concerned about the message those girls get when they see that on that show?? I am, to be honest, glad, I do not have to go through this with my children anymore. And the funny thing is, they are now in 27 and almost 26 and they say the same, their is way to much sex and violence on TV that is shown on times, children are watching.
It’s only okay to be sexy if one is a stick with big chesticles (usually implanted). Big women aren’t supposed to be sexy. They’re supposed to be washing clothes or cooking or cracking jokes, right? Sheesh!
The woman in the Lane Bryant commercial isn’t even “big”. She looks like the average sized woman we see all the time. But I guess that’s ugly.
What a shame.
It’s not one bit ugly to me c. It’s gorgeous.
I agree, c, she’s not big at all! It’s sad that anything over a size 8 is considered “plus size”. Chesticles, ha ha ha! Never heard them called that before!
I agree completely!
Lots of different angles here.
First, I am laughing because I thought we were going to be talking about how the Lane Bryant woman is anything but a plus size. She seems to have a perfect waist size. The biggest difference between her and the Victoria’s Secret model is their bust, not their waist, or so it seems to me. Those I know who shop at Lane Bryant would scoff and complain that the model would be hard pressed to find anything at Lane Bryant that didn’t fall right off her skinny butt. Of course, she’s not “skinny,” but she sure isn’t fat.
Second, I would love to see all the sex stuff off the TV, but I do agree that if you’re going to allow some of it, why discriminate against the one ad that actually has a realistic-ish body in it?
I would like to see less skin on TV and certainly fewer live skeletons. But, it doesn’t bother me in the “dancing with the stars” context or others where the body is super-healthy (muscles and all) and that’s what’s displayed – assuming the essential parts are covered. To me, really athletic dancing and sports don’t suggest sex, even if the person shows a lot of skin. But even in the Olympics, it bugs me when they design the girls’ costumes to come within a centimeter of the actual privates. It’s distracting and I’d be humiliated if I were the contestant.
I agree on the DWTS ladies. All of the professional dancers are stunning in their “in-shape-ness”, and by the end of the season, all the stars have buffed up. Everyone looks good, and it’s a healthy message.
The problem that I have with DWTS is in this context only (and it’s really not DWTS that I have the problem with): ABC had to have MASSIVE pressure brought upon them to air the LB commercial, which they finally did, in the 9:00 (EST) hour. Up to the end, ABC maintained their “too much cleavage/sexual innuendo” stance.
But then you look at the costumes on DWTS, and the ladies are nearly falling out of them. And some of those tangos get pretty steamy. Not faulting DWTS, particularly on the steamy tangos, after all, that’s the POINT of the tango. I just think that it’s laughably hypocritical of ABC to have that stance on this topic.
This is the problem our young girls face. I personally don’t have daughters but I have a lot of nieces. I worry about them, their expectations, and their view of themselves and others. Most will grow up with this warped sense of what “sexy” is.
Curves are sexy, thin athletic builds are sexy. But more importantly, self confidence sexy! I can almost guarantee that a lot of those stick skinny girls aren’t as confident as we all think! What’s sad is they look in the mirror and see “fat”….what does that say to the more full figured girls?
Sue, I’m with you! I just had to have the tampon talk as you know! Have you seen the show Degrasi? That is the worst show for kids I have ever seen. It’s target is teenagers, they talk about sex, they say words like, whore, slut ect. It’s disgusting and I can’t believe any parent would ever let their teenagers watch it. What’s wore is it’s on when my 10 year old is up!! Thankfully he has no interest in it.
Those Lane Bryant models are absolutely gorgeous. All this publicity that ABC and Fox have given this has only heighten this models career…so yes thank you!
I heard about this a couple weeks ago and just had to roll my eyes. I could understand ABC’s/Fox’s complaint if they were usually a station that shy’ s away from stuff like this. However. as its been pointed out above, ABC is home to the Bachelor/Bachelorette… and that show is just FULL of sexual innuendos!!
Sex sells, and it seems to take more and more to sell. Even watching a game show these days there’s lots of cleavage and I loose sight of the game as I’m wondering when her boobs will fall out. It does seem like a double standard here. I think fairs fair if your going to use sex to sell why not use a model who looks curvy. I think natural looking no plastic surgery and curvy will be the “new” look coming up.
I’m actually just as disturbed by the idea that women need to wear high heels, whether they are athletically dancing or hanging out with their partner. That is so unhealthy. Your feet are extremely important to your overall well-being. I feel sad for women who feel compelled to abuse themselves to meet society’s expectations regarding height, legs, whatever.
Actually, dancing in heels is not such a “thing”. If you’re dancing correctly, you spend 99% of your time on your toes anyway, so the heels are superfluous. I did ballet, pointe, and tap for years… and when I was in tap, I couldn’t WAIT to earn my heels. When I finally got them, many of the steps were actually easier to do, because the shoe helped me shift my weight to the balls of my feet where it belonged.
Dancing heels are made for the craft – the heels are thick and sturdy, not stilletoes like many women wear.
I did not know that about the dancer’s shoes, Laura. That’s interesting and makes perfect sense! It would also explain why those shoes aren’t all that cute!
I see your point for a trained dancer, but most people’s feet are not conditioned for that.
Agreed, SKL… I know when I have a deal where I know I’ll be in heels (because I enjoy wearing them, on occasion, I have some seriously cute ones), I’ll wear them for several days in advance, around the house, for short periods of time, to get my feet used to wearing them instead of my usual trail shoes.
I have 2 girls, 10 & 17, and I am soo sick of having to explain to them that they are not fat. And seriously neither one of them is overweight for their height and age but all they see are the super skinny people in magazines and on tv so they think they are fat. It drives me crazy! Then when we go shopping for clothes it’s even worse! They must think all kids are super skinny and want their clothes to be skin tight. My kids don’t! My youngest daughter and I went to find bathing suits a few weeks back and we finally found a really cute one at JCP. My 10 said, “It’s so nice to find a cute bathing suit that isn’t a 2 piece!”
I had tears in my eyes while watching that beautiful commercial with Ashley Graham. Because it is truly the FIRST time I’ve ever seen a commercial with a curvy woman in it. Isn’t that sad? The FIRST time.
I have an eating disorder, and this video is so beautiful to me, and actually helps me to think that now, back at my target weight, I can still be beautiful. Thanks, Laura.
Way to go Ilana.
SI… you are beautiful at ANY weight. Because it’s not about the weight, is it? I battle with an ED, too, every single day. And I can tell you, I am THRILLED when I see ladies like Ashley Graham, Queen Latifah, even America Ferrara standing up and embracing their curves as normal, rather than the sticks that we typically see.
Thanks, Joy. I always appreciate the support <3.
Laura, I had no idea – obviously – that you were still struggling with an ED, too. Of course it's not really ever about the weight – I mean, that's how it seems on the surface, it's how it manifests, but it goes down much deeper than the mere outward appearance.
I, too, feel inspired and so happy to see women showing off their curves.
oh they can all go f themselves. We all know that a woman is as beautiful as she makes herself feel. I am no size 2 and never will be ..put a 1 in front of it and nope still not me..cuz this baby got back and plans on keeping it!
That pisses me off that LB couldn’t be shown ..because even though I bat for the straight team..that chick in the LB was way hotter than those friggin toothpick PHOTOSHOPPED VS chicks! U know what I think. I think us curvy kick ass women scare those bigwigs..that’s what I think. They don’t like us to have attitude and show off our hips! Why? Because then we can take this shit over and show them what a size 14 and up can really do!
Now somebody help me down off this soapbox..I got a belly dancing class to go to!
laura Queen L is one of my favorite people in the whole world!! I am glad you mentioned her. There is a hot chick who knows it!