Is the catwalk skinny finally about to go from hero to zero?
It ought to. There’s been a massive wake-up call for the world’s most glamorous and sought-after designer brands this week.
All those reed-slim women-waifs you insist on parading up and down the catwalk and plastering all over your expensive advertising images? They don’t work.
All these years, you’ve assumed women do not like to see gorgeous clothes on models of regular proportions and won’t even buy a handbag unless it’s been shot on a model’s arm so thin it looks about to snap under the weight. And you’ve been wrong.
It’s been proved that skinny models DON’T sell products. In fact, they actually repel female shoppers.
So do those big, close-up shots of impossibly, gobsmackingly beautiful models and celebrities.
Advertisers have long argued that images of so-called aspirational women can sell anything and everything because they make ordinary women think 1. I’m rubbish in comparison, then 2. I might look a bit like the beauty in the commercial if only I bought that lipstick.
But a new study has revealed that in actual fact we do the opposite. Researchers at Warwick Business School say women are turned off by products placed next to large-scale or close-up images of slim and ‘perfect’ females.
It triggers in us a coping mechanism - scorn. We find ourselves criticising the woman in the picture, or on that catwalk. It’s a natural self-defence mechanism geared to make us feel better about ourselves, say the researchers.
What they haven’t sussed out, though, is that it irritates the hell out of us to see women blatantly being paraded as sales gimmicks.
Remember the days when car companies used to drape a couple of scantily-clad girls over the bonnet of their ‘sexy’ new motor?
The ad-men now want to appeal to us, too, so they curl some cooing girl around a glass of Bailey’s and get Eva Longoria to dance about in her satin underskirt with a tin of catfood. Hello? We’re not stupid. We do realise what you did there.
Neither do we like being treated like gullible fools. Lingerie and swimwear images? They don’t sell it to me. I look at the slender lovelies resplendent in their slinkies and think: Well, I’m going to look 25 times worse than that, so I won’t even try, let alone buy.
For godsakes, even hold-it-all-in shapewear is modelled by women who look no bigger than a 12 and no older than 25.
For a woman who needs pants big enough to tuck her midriff into, it’s not just stretching credibility, it’s lying with added Lycra content.