A while ago (yes, I've been meaning to write this for over a month) there was a photo circulating Facebook of an ad for The Body Shop that an image of a plus-sized doll named Ruby.
The "Love Your Body" campaign started in the late 90's depicting an ample, curvy woman rebelling against cosmetic corporations unrealistic beauty standards.
Ruby challenged the notion that every woman has to be thin to be beautiful. This campaign is obviously intriguing for me because it touches on the same ideas of my thesis. While the process of my thesis is over, the message is not. I'm not done saying what I have to say.
Posters and ads were hung all over Body Shop's across the world, in train stations, shop windows, magazines. And then along comes Mattel, the maker of the oft imitated Barbie™ who in some way had to think that The Body Shop was trying to nose its way into their market, or in some way, making fun of their disproportionate doll and served The Body Shop with a cease and disist order.
What's wrong Mattel? Afraid that women would be tempted to follow in Ruby's footsteps and accept themselves as they are and stop paying for painful and expensive surgeries to emulate a doll that couldn't possibly stand on her own? Afraid that there might actually be a market for a beautiful, amply-proportioned doll? Is there a remote possibility that The Body Shop may have been mocking your own standards of beauty?
I'd actually love to see a diverse shape of dolls on the shelves. Young girls need to see that there are more body shapes in the world. It's as simple as making a mold and pouring plastic into it. I'd love to take this on. Hey, anyone out there a multi-millionaire and want to back a project with me? If you don't want to think that dolls have an effect on girls' psyches, than agree with the visual aesthetics of looking at dolls that all look different than each other? I remember when I played with Barbie I used to think they all looked exactly the same and just had different hair colors. I wasn't overly influenced by their body shapes because I was too busy pulling their heads off, cutting the hair into wild styles and putting on plays in my closet set as the stage.
It's about time that corporate America stops thinking about its bottom line and image, and how their influence affects the rest of us. Ruby's legacy was over ten years ago, and if Mattel gets their way, there will not be another Ruby, from anyone.
For now, I've got my super secret project.
One of my references was from this page, whose author is much more eloquent than I am.