These Body-Positive Ads Encourage Women to Love Their Bodies Now – Not Later

A lot of products are advertised with body positivity as their focus, but no matter how amazing the ads might sound (Dove, I’m looking at you), I can never forget one simple fact: At the end of the day, the point of them isn’t to encourage body positivity — it’s to sell a product. But what might happen if the only purpose of an ad is to encourage women to love their bodies not tomorrow, not the day after, not after buying a product, and not after losing a few pounds — but now? Marie Claire Australia asked six agencies to create such an ad — and the results are striking.

Top Australian ad agencies OgilvyOne, Publicis Mojo, M&C Saatchi Australia, Airborne, Whybin/TBWA, and DDB Group Sidney each participated in the project. I think the two most effective ones are the ones that focus on body shaming with relation to kids, highlighting how the problem is perpetuated generation to generation. OgilvyOne’s design features an adorable, ovary-pang-inducing baby smiling up at us over the words, “She’s perfect. Until we teach her otherwise.”

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the text:

“Flabby arms. Podgy tummy. Double-chin. Puffy eyes. Wispy hair. All the traits we love in her little body, we hate when we see in the mirror. Why? No really, ask yourself why? The truth is body issues are unnatural. They’re learned. We teach them to our daughters, reinforce them with our girlfriends and punish ourselves with them – every day. But there is good news. Because what’s learned can be unlearned. Take the pledge to end the vicious cycle – for her sake and for yours.”

The agency says, “You’re not born hating your body, it’s something that you’re taught. We wanted to send an optimistic message — that these sorts of learned behaviors can be unlearned. It’s just something we need to think differently about. It’s also a beautiful, fresh image that’s a little bit unexpected. It feels positive.”

And then there’s Airborne’s:

Wow. Just… wow. Simple, but incredibly powerful. “We all know that kids love to mimic from a very young age, and it’s usually their parents they start mimicking first,” Airborne notes. “We want to make people aware of their behavior, so they don’t pass their own body image issues on to their kids. As adults, we have an opportunity to break the cycle.” True that.

Take a look at the rest of the ads here — and share them around. They’re messages worth sending.

Images: Marie Claire Australia/Yahoo!