We all know that a long time ago, in a world far different than that in which we live, ideals of beauty were the polar opposite of what they are (for the most part) today. As it pertained to women, more emphasis was placed on the thicker, fuller figure and less on the slim, boyish look. This can easily be seen by taking a look at Renoir’s paintings of voluptuous goddesses, sitting carelessly and glamorously next to ridiculously enticing baths, or even in the latter half of the 20th century, with Marilyn Monroe as the universal icon of beauty and sex appeal – who can deny she had an incredible body? We often wonder, where have those ideals gone? But I think they may still be around, albeit a bit subliminally.
This occurred to me because of a POM bottle. I’ve always loved pomegranate juice, especially POM. And yet I never noticed the actual bottle shape. I knew it was easy to grip. I knew it was a rare occasion when my self-aware butter fingers would drop the bottle. But I never realized that this was because POM comes in the shape of a larger lady – one whose breasts go out, waist goes in, hips go out and then back in again – ultimately creating an epic hourglass figure.
Obviously POM isn’t the only case of marketers placing a subliminal sexual appeal on their products, and some are far more obvious. This 1960s concept car is undoubtedly rocking some very feminine curves – I imagine whoever crafted it must’ve been enamored with a woman who was “more to love.” Even though the car may’ve been designed in decades passed, people still obsessively, often even moronically, drool over it and others like it. And so, I am led to believe that a lot of people, even if they don’t realize it, still truly appreciate curves. Even now, in the days of size 0-4 empires, there are still many men and women who gravitate toward the second half of the double digit sizes.
I don’t think my POM bottle is quite the same story as the obvious, sexed-up ads that sell whatever they’re selling by flaunting some pretentiously and stereotypically attractive woman on their flyers or infomercials. It’s far more obscure than that – and perhaps this is because it’s still seen as peculiar to enjoy being on the heavy side – or to prefer the company (wink wink) of a heavyset woman. Thus, designers and marketers don’t blatantly come out and say, “This POM bottle was inspired by my love of wobbly bits,” but rather it’s left to the buyer to decide whether to pick up or buy into potential subliminal messages. Personally, I buy into them.
To say you enjoy being fat – to say you are attracted to fat men or women, still isn’t “ok.” Plus-size activism and weight acceptance just haven’t gotten that far yet. So perhaps, people search for subtle means of expressing their misunderstood or rejected viewpoints…like POM. And perhaps (given any of my ramblings and possibly misguided thoughts are remotely correct) eventually those who do seek alternate means of expressing their preferences can someday tell us honestly if their bottles or cars or pencil holders are meant to personify a type of beauty that so many people still don’t acknowledge.