Everybody's lovable: especially if you're thin, hot, sexy and covered in ice cream

Lovable need to hear from you, read this and then tell them what you think

Melinda Tankard Reist writes about more double standards and mixed messages for Body Image Awareness week.

According to its website, Australian underwear brand Lovable says it is

“dedicated to changing the culture surrounding eating disorders and body image”. It does this “by using happy, healthy models in our campaigns and promotional activities and by continuing to design intimates that are not created to objectify women’s bodies…”

I'm sorry, but I'm a bit confused.

Because I don’t understand how you change the culture with advertising like this.


Like Girlfriend misusing the word ‘revolution’ in its alleged new approach to body image (Girlfriend: we’re still waiting for the beauty revolution), Lovable is abusing the term ‘cultural change’.

Reinforcing not transforming cultural messages

Reinforcing cultural messages about the superiority of thin women who conform to conventional notions of beauty (with help from airbrushing and possibly even plastic surgery) doesn’t transform the culture.

Sexualising advertising designed to provoke certain responses in men doesn’t turn society upside down either.

It seems to me companies like Lovable are happy to spruik a love-your-bodies-we’re-all-beautiful-positive-self-esteem message, while not doing all that much. It has become an empty mantra. Can any corporation wear the badge of honour and become a sponsor of positive body image campaigns while at the same time harming the cause?

Lovable has a deal with a major eating disorders charity. That’s fine. I hope it gets lots of money. It’s also funding this week’s Body Image & Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

But the double standards around claiming to boost self-esteem in women and supporting positive body image, while acting in ways that undermine these messages, have to be exposed.

Lovable supposedly cares about poor body image, yet it continues to use ultra thin models – including supermodel and former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins.

Read the full article on Melinda's blog.

But wait, there's more. This is important, this is why Lovable need to hear from you.

After writing this article, Melinda received this comment from Joni on her blog:

I was so happy when I saw you’d posted about this ad. All I have to do is see a still from this ad and I feel horrible. There aren’t many ads that can tear at my self esteem anymore, but this ad does it to the core everytime I see it, no matter how hard I try to resist. I hate this ad more than any other.

Melinda has written a letter to Lovable, Lovable, please read this, asking how they can claim to care about body image issues while producing ad campaigns that fly in the face of their stated goals.

We ask that you write to Lovable too

Do as Joni has done, and tell Lovable how these ads make you feel. You might also choose to make the following points in your letter:

  • Lovable's stated goals are to change the culture surrounding eating disorders and body image and to not objectify women
  • These ads do nothing to change the culture and they reinforce a culture that objectifies women and promotes a thin ideal
  • It is frustrating for those concerned with body image issues and eating disorders, to see companies using the language of 'cultural change' while actively reinforcing the toxic culture and causing harm to women.

Contact Lovable here and as always, please post your letters to Lovable along with any other comments, in the comments section below.

Update: You might also like to contact the ad standards board here.

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