• Too Thin

    The Scary New Anti-Anorexia Ad

    Turns glamorous fashion illustrations into real-life skeletal models.

    What could be more glamorous than a fashion sketch showing a lithe model swanning about in the latest couture? But just like Barbie—whose proportions are so unrealistic that she couldn't remain upright as a flesh-and-blood woman—the charming illustrations used by designers to concoct their flights of fancy are hardly maps for a healthy body. To this end, Star Models, a Brazil-based agency, has released a shocking new ad campaign that uses Photoshop to carve out what the paper mannequins would actually look like off the page. Turns out, it's terrifying: those mile-long legs and limber arms become skeletal clavicles and emaciated appendages. The campaign—whose slogan is "You Are Not A Sketch"—is hoping to take aim at thinspiration blogs and 'pro-ana' websites to show girls that fashion industry standards translate into real-life scary.

  • A scene from a new Dove ad, which features a sketch artist drawing women as they see themselves. (Dove)

    Body Image

    Drawing Ourselves Ugly

    New Dove campaign shows women how they see themselves.

    We’re our own worst critics. Nothing we haven’t heard before. But the newest ad campaign by Dove aims to shed light on how women, specifically, beat themselves up. The video features a handful of women describing themselves to a forensic sketch artist. The images are then compared side by side to sketches he drew based on descriptions of the women by complete strangers. The pseudo-experiment proves to be eye-opening: the self-described sketches are often far less attractive, visual affirmations of their own self-deprecation. HelloGiggles blogger Mary Traina says that this isn’t an issue unique to just women, but acknowledges that the campaign video shed light on a problem that she, like many of us, face.

    Those side-by-side sketches are now burned into my brain. They visually sum up a problem I previously had trouble putting my finger on. Verbally, I’ve painted that haggard sketch of myself many times; in job interviews, over coffee, first dates, that time I repeatedly told a cashier, “I know, I’m the worst” because I wanted him to wait 15 extra seconds for me to pay with exact change. I’m reasonably certain I’m not the worst, so why am I trying to convince someone otherwise?