Advertising has always wanted to be ahead of the curve. Not in the right direction for the world, but in the right direction for advertising. If you want to attract attention, showing something terrible or scandalous, such as a close-up of Nancy Pelosi, is a solution. In recent times, the beautiful Western models that in the last few decades commanded our attention in the lingerie billboards of big fashion brands have given way to obese girls, bizarre racial mixes, girls who look like boys and vice versa, and very pretty ladies with bushes of armpit hair. That’s the future, they try to tell us. I don’t know how the waxers feel about that.
The canons of beauty have taken many turns over the centuries. Prehistoric men related beauty to fertility, for reasons that cannot be explained before the watershed, so they went crazy with wide hips and huge breasts; in the latter we have not changed much. In the Renaissance everyone wanted a bride like Botticelli’s Venus, minus the shell, which is simply impossible to fit in the passenger seat. While in the Baroque era there were Rubens’ fat women, and those pasty women drove the men of the time — already quite mad — downright crazy.
The Victorian era threw things out of whack. I mean, as much as we men love women with delicate lines, it’s not pretty when your girlfriend collapses because of her corset in the middle of dinner. And, then, you know, sometime in this terrible last century, it all went to hell and we went from the infinite beauty and elegance of Elizabeth Taylor to Lady Gaga disguised as a veal cutlet.
If the aesthetic changes of the preceding centuries were a sum of socio-cultural factors, today’s sudden lurches in fashion almost always respond to planned ideological actions. As soon as ideology meddles where it is not wanted, something goes wrong. Just take a look at contemporary art.
Fashion catalogs today, as well as many magazines, are trying to normalize asexual models or “genderless models”; of course, it’s just a way to align with woke policies that aim to end the dichotomy of the male and female sex. The result is aesthetically frightening and the only advantage it might have is that they are so unpleasant to look at that you inevitably end up only looking at the accessories and clothes. I do at least, to avoid buying any of it.
At the same time, brands claim that curviness is a huge source of beauty, no pun intended, but they only do it with girls. No one has yet had the balls to show a guy with a huge beer belly in a Calvin Klein catalog, stuffed into underwear about to burst, which leaves us common males, once again, unable to make a living on the catwalks. But that’s another war.
The advancement of normal women on the catwalks is indeed a step forward, after all, the anorexic models of the 90s, more than an ode to beauty, looked like an ode to heroin. But the advertising claim has to be excessive to be effective, and from there it has moved on to show women with serious obesity problems that make the observer, before considering whether it is sexy or no, end up trying to remember their cholesterol levels in the last analysis.
The fact that luxury brands are betting on this kind of homage to the ugly and the weird is probably of no consequence. The norm for models is to be beautiful and attractive, in the same way that athletes are required to be fit, or financial experts are required to have a certain fluency in mathematics. But what underlies these fashion catalogs obsessed with diversity of bodies and races is that progressive ideology needs to invade everything, to the point that it now wants to make us Western men feel guilty for looking with glazed eyes at a pretty woman who weighs less than three hundred kilos and was born in a NATO country.