Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ngoc Anh - Miss Audition

Not a lot of women who are 41 look like Linda Evangelista at 41. But then, magazines have never been about portraying reality. As Patrick O'Connell says, "we can all aim high in life."

These days, even men are bombarded with images of male perfection they might find tough to match, such as models with sixpack abs, O'Connell says. "I walk around and see the cover of Men's Health and think I need to work on my abs."

The media often portrays women as ideal perfection -- almost Stepford wife-like. Case-in-point: one of America's most popular TV shows, "Desperate Housewives." It features four women, three of them in their 40s. All of them are personally flawed, but all of them are physically beautiful.

Again, older women may take comfort in these characters who are in their 40s, but the average housewife does not look like Teri Hatcher.

Looking for 'Real Beauty'

Average usually doesn't "sell more soap," as the saying goes. But at least one company set out to challenge that belief.

Two years ago, Dove skincare products launched its Campaign for Real Beauty, using real women of different ages, sizes, and ethnicities to sell Dove products. And it chose, of all days, Superbowl Sunday, with a huge, primarily male, audience, to debut its ads of women with imperfect bodies dressed in their underwear, selling firming lotion.