An open letter to Avon : Body Shaming isn’t working

An open letter to Avon : Body Shaming isn’t working

January 27, 2019 2 By Shan Ellis Williams

You may or may not have seen cosmetics giant Avon’s attempt at getting you to buy their new cellulite-reducing cream after Christmas. You won’t find it now, as thousands of women spoke out that the advert was a direct dig at body shaming them into buying a product. The offending slogan?

“Dimples, cute on your face (not on your thighs)”

I can’t begin to tell you how incensed I was. Well, I can actually because I wrote to them. Avon have since apologised for the ill thought-out campaign, but only after being slammed by UK Celeb feminist, and model/ actress Jameela Jamil:

And yet EVERYONE has dimples on their thighs, I do, you do, and the CLOWNS at @Avon_UK certainly do. Stop shaming women about age, gravity and cellulite. They’re inevitable, completely normal things. To make us fear them and try to “fix”them, is to literally set us up for failure pic.twitter.com/78kqu3nHeE— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) 19 January 2019

An Open Letter to Avon

Dear multi million pound cosmetics company,

I am a 41 year old woman with dimples. I have dimples on my face, bottom, legs, and even in the joints of my knees. These dimples are there because I live life, drink gin, eat chocolate occasionally, and am genuinely happy in my own skin. It hasn’t always been this way and it took 40 years for me to love the body I was given.

I will never buy your anti cellulite range, or be tempted to buy it. You see, as a 41 year old, every lump and bump on my body has a story to tell. From the scars of the insecure teen, like my daughter, who would have jumped to the conclusion upon seeing your advert that being a size 14, and having orange peel on the back of her thighs was the end of the world, to the stretch marks of pregnancy. They are proud scars I bare because I’m alive.

Body shaming women is totally unacceptable and no responsible business should have to lower themselves to psychologically imposing guilt on their customers in aid to buy product. Hey, I know that your sales are in decline, but are your marketing team trying to implode your company? Don’t you have any responsibility guidelines for them?

Psychology of buying and body shaming

Women like to buy form other women, yes, but ‘real’ women. I for one am fed up of seeing aesthetic changes in models to shave a piece of fat of a thigh, or lessening a boob, even air brushing out a back fold. The average size for a girl in the UK now is a size 16. Just to let you know that means having a 40 inch bust, 32 inch waist and a 42 inch hip. Those statistics are just that. Add them up and they look like this:

Psychologically, you have to make people feel absolutely fantastic and guilt free to get them to buy from you. And they’re buying from the human face of your cosmetic brand, so the lovely size 12 model you have ashamed to have dimples on her bum? Seriously?

My daughter is 14. She is growing up seeing painfully thin models gracing the catwalks of her favourite designers. She sees very few positive body image role models(more than I had growing up!), and the only model who she knows of who is curvy, Tess Munster, is standing there alone and body shamed daily. Psychologically, your advert could have effected young people, and older people with insecurities by FEEDING OFF THEM. Slow clap for profit before people Avon.

Real Women

You see, Avon, a real woman’s body has a tale to tell. Whether it be the cavity beneath her belly button that she just can’t get back post pregnancy, to the scars on her knees where she fell down in primary school, to the cellulite she has inherited from her mother, and her mother before her despite drinking 3L of water per day, and working out three times of week. Your marketing team really thought they were doing us all a favour by telling us our dimples belonged only on our face. The assumed far too much, and as you know that makes an ass of you and me…

Perhaps they only belong on benefits.

Sincerely,

A pissed off 41 year old

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