Surrender your scales

Coinciding with the opening of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, The Body Shop is today launching a month-long self worth awareness campaign around Australia.

Ruby Poster

The campaign called “Your Beauty and Self Worth Cannot Be Measured”  is designed to encourage people  to “hop off the scales, stop restrictive dieting and nurture themselves”. But it’s not just about jumping on the body image bandwagon. The Body Shop enlisted the help of  The Butterfly Foundation to make sure they get it right and actually help create change. As a result customers can be part of a nationwide action by signing an in-store petition to Health Minister Nicola Roxon, demanding for better funding for the treatment and prevention of eating disorders.

The news immediately brought memories of the Body Shop’s successful 1998 Ruby self esteem campaign back to my mind. Back then, the company got great feedback from women around the world who loved the shop’s message “There are 3 billion women in the world who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do”.  And I remember pinning the campaign postcard/flyer up on my wall as a teenager and loving the simple slogan. Spoilsport toy company Mattel, however, demanded the posters be pulled from shop window and in Hongkong offended officials even banned “racy” Ruby from railway posters.

It reminds me a little of the the controversy over the current Lane Bryant commercial, featuring plus size model Ashleigh Graham, which was stopped from airing on some US TV channels with execs quotes as saying there was “too much cleavage” in the ad. (And I thought cleavage generated ratings?) It seems similar to today’s non-standard models, Ruby offended some tastes. Let’s just be clear: cleavage and sex appeal is fine, as long as it’s keeping with the standard skinny size…

And over a decade later, The Body Shop is ready to revisit the last campaign’s success. Three days out from International No Diet Day, “Your Beauty and Worth Cannot Be Measured” will hopefully be another  slogan to resonate with women.  Some change is guaranteed – even if it’s only in the form of bathroom scales, measuring tapes and diet books being handed in to the stores in exchange for a free hand massage and favourite product sample. Go on, be part of the change. Turn off Fashion TV, stop fretting about your weight and embrace your inner beauty. It doesn’t matter what size you are. Unless if you want to join our herd of clothes horses on the catwalk, of course.

Remember, those girls are genetic freaks (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) and even they often starve themselves to be that size. I know I did. Being defined by your size is not a nice thing. Why would you possibly want to do that to yourself?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please send me an e-mail or comment below. For the record, I’m aware some of you will judge me because I’m not what you consider a “real” plus size. Could we please get over that already? Do I really have to be a larger size to be beautiful or happy? Follow the motto of the campaign and focus on your inner beauty. Your weight may fluctuate, as may your tone and fitness level, so make sure you fill that beautiful body with a healthy attitude to life and love for your body. Be grateful for what you’ve got. I promise you, skinny, hungry and empty is not a good way to be.

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