OK, have y’all seen this? The 50th Anniversary of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition came out and there is a four-page ad that features Barbie (yes, the plastic toy produced by Mattel) as one of the models.
It’s a collaboration between SI and Mattel and the promotional campaign uses the social media hashtag and “Unapologetic,” seemingly to convey this idea that both SI and Barbie/Mattel are proud of and unapologetic about the image they project.
Now, before I go any farther I want to say this is not a bash on SI swimsuit models (I am one after all, remember? or Barbie and the controversy that she might be responsible for giving girls unrealistic expectations of what a healthy adult woman is supposed to look like.
No, what got me thinking and what I wanted to write about was the use of the “#Unapologetic.”
On the one hand, the thing I find worrisome or just rather disingenuous about the whole “#Unapologetic” campaign is that, to me, it wreaks of some desperate call for attention, a la Miley Cyrus.
What SI and Mattel seem to be so “unapologetic” about is creating this imagine that is unobtainable and unrealistic for women.
The thing of it is, the images in SI have been edited beyond recognition, taking away every flaw in the models, and Barbie is literally molded plastic.
We all know this and yet Mattel and SI are saying they’re unapologetic about the images they’re creating.
Apologizing (or calling attention to the fact that you’re not apologizing) for creating a false image that has no basis in reality just goes to show, in my humble opinion, that you’re desperate for attention and the way these two corporate giants are choosing to do so, is through sexualizing the female form.
It just kind of reminds me of that girl in college who slept around secretly hoping that maybe someone would like her—superficially she was unapologetic about being promiscuous, but any psychologist would tell you that not too deep down was shame in her actions and a desperate call for attention.
So we need to teach our kids, not just our daughters, that this kind of defiantly unapologetic attitude is a false confidence that covers some deeper hurt or insecurity.
As older, wiser women we need to teach our children that there is a way to be humble and yet genuinely proud of who you are.
We need to teach them that it is OK to be unapologetic about substantive things.
Be unapologetic because you’re smart. Be unapologetic that you have great athletic ability or that you love your family or that you’re not following the same path your friends are because you only care what you look like in the sight of God—don’t be rebelliously unapologetic because you’re seeking attention from the wrong sources.
There are too many people out there who think it is their right to be defiantly unapologetic. Defiance and pride come before the fall.
You can be unapologetic about who you are, but maintain a humility that will go a long way in proving you know what is genuinely important in life (hint: what your body looks like is not at the top of the list – not even close).
I think the irony of the “#Unapologetic” is that the defiant, recklessly bold attitude these companies are trying to project is based in a campaign that is delivering on exactly what people have come to expect from these brands.
don’t be rebelliously unapologetic because you’re seeking attention from the wrong sources.