I’m about to show you two pictures of marketing targeted at women in regards to health. Which picture do you find more motivating for weight loss and body image?


Now before we jump in, let me tell you what I’m not getting at with our observations:

1. I’m not attacking skinny women who are fit.

2. I’m not discussing issues of modesty in advertising.

3. I don’t actually think either picture is “wrong” in themselves.  I am only showing them for the sake of two opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to marketing to women.

4. The pictures are different sizes only because of the way they downloaded on my site, not for any message I’m trying to send.

Sound good?

– So which picture motivates you personally?  Key word: motivate.  For what you ask?  Well that’s a good next question.

– Which picture motivates you to be healthy?  Does muscle tone mean healthy to you, or a strong sense of confidence?

– What feelings do these ads bring up inside of you?  Look at each one and observe.

– Does one of the pictures bring up more positive emotion than the other?  Does one bring up negative emotion?  Do you know why it is  that way for you?

– What do you feel defines “beauty” and “health”?  Are you content with where you are at physically?  What do you feel would make you truly “beautiful”.


Remember, the job of marketing is to take a deep felt need you have and turn it into desire for what they have to offer you, or CREATE a need inside you that you didn’t know you had – well, you actually never had it in the first place, they just told you that you did.  In Brene Brown’s book, “I Thought It Was Just Me, But It Isn’t”, she states facts from a study that was taken on what women thought about the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.  The study showed that women were less motivated and in fact, more confused by the photo. Most said it didn’t “motivate” them to achieve.   Photos of women cut and carved gave women something to strive for.

Yet, consider that not even 50 years ago, marketing was selling THIS to women in regards to body:

A cut and carved woman would have sent viewers into confusion!  We need to take time to think about how marketing forms our thinking to what’s “normal”, and how it disciples us.  Are we women consumed with the lure of beauty from society’s standards, or are we open to creating a new idea of beauty?  Marketers will always succeed in creating the standard and driving us to strive for what they have created for us.  The question is; are you going to fall for it time and again, or are you open to some rebelling?