The many ironies of a “modest swimwear” advertisement

This one ran yesterday at the PJ Tatler, and I forgot to republish it here.  Since it’s a day late, I figure I can just block and copy the whole thing:

I’m not a fan of extremely revealing or tight clothing. Even in my younger days, when I could get away with it, it wasn’t my style. There’s something to be said for a little mystery and a lot of class. Nevertheless, an ad for “modest swimwear” managed to make my eyeballs pop a little:

The first funny thing to strike me is the fact that, thanks to the way computer algorithms process words, an ad for full coverage swimwear — something aimed primarily at the Muslim market — ended up on a Commentary Magazine blog post that talks about the repression that too often goes with mandatory hijabs in Muslim countries.

The second funny thing is that the models used are remarkably non-Muslim looking. And yes, I know that “Muslim” is not a racial classification, but demographically it trends towards non-blondes.  These models, however, look as if they come from the little known Northern European Muslim demographic.

And the third funny thing is that the ad company went overboard with Photoshopping to make the models skinny. The women in the black suit has a right arm so skeletal she looks mortally ill, while the woman in the maroon suit has stick thighs and a bizarrely large head. We know that this type of digitized airbrushing is routinely done with models stripped down to their skivvies, but there’s something ludicrous about seeing the same tactic applied to models wearing clothes that could comfortably have appeared in a Victorian fashion magazine:

An article for those of us who are not physically perfect

In my younger days, if buxom wasn’t your thing, I had a figure to die for.  Two children and a few years later and . . . well, I’m trim, but it takes a lot of work.  Given the realities of child bearing, age and gravity, there’s nothing more irksome to me than a picture of some Hollywood woman, slim and smooth in a bikini, boasting about how she went back to her original figure within just three months of having a baby because she did intense workouts and ate a bizarre diet.

The good news is that those ladies can’t lie with impunity anymore.  Two scientists have created a computer program that measures the amount of photoshopping involved in any given image.  I think every single woman and teenager in the land should read this article.  It wouldn’t hurt to have the guys read it either, just so that they too can know how the media manipulates them.