In Defense of Target – Should Target Have Apologized?
In this week’s roundup of thigh gap news:
TARGET PHOTOSHOP DEBACLE – WHY THEY DON’T NEED TO APOLOGIZE OR EXPLAIN:
As you all know by now Target has come under fire for photoshopping a thigh gap, as well as a narrower hip, arms and torso on a model for its bikini-wear. Ok, so we can all agree that it was a pretty bad photoshop job (and not just some technical glitch as Target claims). It was an oversight that made its way on to their website or a big publicity stunt to get people talking about target, or forgetting about their data breach which was recently in the news.
Of course, you have the hang-wringing, body policing, opportunistic journalists who have taken to their blogs and websites to publicly flog Target for setting ‘unrealistic body goals’ and standards for those girls who saw the ad. “They can’t un-see the ad and the feeling that they got when they looked down at their thighs and wondered why a huge chunk of their private wasn’t missing!”
THIGH GAPS EXIST IN REAL LIFE
Ok, that wasn’t a direct quote, but that’s the gist of their argument. If we dissect their argument we know that first, a girl with a thigh gap is not an unrealistic body goal because there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women (and men) out there with natural thigh gaps – ergo: very realistic body type.
Of course, there are also plenty of women out there with narrow hips (like my clients and myself) who have gotten slender enough to see some light between their thighs – ergo: very realistic!
THIS IS STANDARD ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The other aspect of the uproar is that Target would DARE put a thigh gap on a young model who is already pretty slender. “Why would they even do this?!” These overly sensitive, outraged and offended people want to know.
Here’s the thing, every single company does this. So, if you want to be outraged at Target, you should be outraged at everyone – but it’s not healthy to go around raising your blood pressure for silly things such as this.
Companies make advertisements and marketing campaigns that appeal to their target market / demographic. In this case, target wants to TARGET teen girls, who as we all know (along with plenty of adult women) want slimmer thighs and thigh gaps. They find this look to be attractive and desirable.
Target, knowing this, wants the model in its ads to appeal to those young girls who ALREADY want thigh gaps. If Target were to put an obese girl in its pictures on its websites you can be sure that people who don’t find obese women attractive or see themselves reflected in the model won’t be interested in the product regardless of how cut the piece is.
MODELS APPEAL TO WHAT WE LIKE OR ASPIRE TO LOOK LIKE
If they can’t relate to the model or find the model inspirational, they won’t be compelled to want to wear, much less buy, the outfit that she is wearing. This is why the most popular models are beautiful and skinny. Most women want to be skinny and beautiful and look like the models do in the ads. We in turn buy those clothes to look like them!
Come on, we all know this to be true, so to rake Target over the coals for being business savvy, and in fact following common advertising practices is quite silly.
Yes, it was a botched photoshop job, but the only person who should be apologizing is the graphic artist/intern who was clearly either drunk on the job or on his last day. Let’s stop appeasing these extreme people who want to place the blame on everyone but themselves when it comes to their daughter’s/childrens self image.