Monday, 14 May 2007

Skeletor ad in Elle magazine - no reply from editor

I can't say I'm surprised that the editor of Elle magazine, Jackie Burger, hasn't replied to the email I wrote her complaining about the shocking Pringle advert (depicting a puppet-like carcass of a model) in the latest issue. I haven't had a response from Pringle, either. Perhaps they're all too embarrassed to respond. Perhaps they're too busy scouring the boneyards looking for new skeletons to use in future campaigns. Or perhaps they just don't give a tinker's cuss about how women are portrayed in the media. To beg a catch-phrase from John Robbie, 'You've disappointed me'. Here's what I said:

To: 'elle@jpl.co.za''ellefeatures@jpl.co.za'

Dear Ms Burger

I’m writing this email to express my shock and disappointment at the Pringle ad you are carrying in the latest issue of Elle.

This image is especially upsetting in the light of the recent controversy about skinny models and their impact on the psyche of young women.

Not only is the model skeletally thin, but her passive, puppet-like pose and her corpse-like, heroin-addict expression add up to an image that is profoundly disturbing, if not downright offensive.

I can’t see any artistic merit in this photograph; I also fail to see how anyone could be persuaded to buy a garment that looks like a shapeless black sack. (I’m also astonished that a wholesome brand like Pringle is choosing to associate this kind of look with its products, but that is something I intend to take up with them directly.)

I’ve shown the ad to a range of eight different women of different ages and viewpoints, and we all agree that it is completely unacceptable. The only person I haven’t shown it to is my eight-year-old daughter, because I’m afraid it will actually frighten her.

I urge you not to carry such images in future issues of Elle.

Yours sincerely, etc.

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