Today in the Chicago Sun-Times

…is an opinion piece by yours truly about the Dove ads.

Or rather, a certain reaction to the ads, which has been expressed by certain people at certain news outlets. Like, heh, The Chicago Sun-Times.

And you may have noticed the whole damn site looks different, too. Welcome back!


  1. nancy says

    check out one of the links this morning is to a Yahoo news article on the billboards. most of the farker’s comments that i read were positive- saying they thought the women looked great and very supportive of the ad campaign. one comment made me laugh out loud: “my god, they look… normal!”
    thanks for a great editorial!

  2. Beth says

    I loved your article — I can’t believe some of the comments that the Dove ads have generated. I found Richard Roeper’s particularly irritating (he’s such a wanker) — it makes me want to buy a month-long spot on that billboard outside his window and paste up a giant picture of my naked, flabby, hairy ass … perhaps with the banner “Just for you, Roeper!” (actually, i can think of dozens of other banners, but they’re all pretty offensive, even more so than my naked, flabby, hairy ass).

  3. Kristen Walker says

    Actually, I’m a size 2, and I am looking into a modeling career, but by their standards I am probably too big. Anyway I don’t think those women are fat at all. They are average sized women. Supermodels are too skinny and most of the time look very unhealthy.

  4. says

    Actually, I think those white undergarments are sexy as hell on those women. Putting them in tarted-up lingerie would have defeated the purpose, in my opinion, because that’s trying to stuff these ‘real women’ into the same twisted mold as the ‘fantasy women’ (who are often, surprisingly, portrayed by other real women).

    Hooray for Dove for using their advertising dollars for good instead of evil. Self-serving good, but good nonetheless. And hooray for Wendy for putting the beatin’ to the morons who’ve bought into the fantasy as the Only Solution to Beauty.

  5. Catherine says

    I liked your column; I hadn’t realized there was a backlash against the ads (I guess I haven’t been paying much attention). But I have to say, they don’t appeal to me, for the reason that the women seem fake and “same-y” to me! To me, they’re just yet more scantily-clad women plastered on billboards to sell product. Maybe it’s because they all have perfect skin–I don’t expect Dove to highlight women who don’t, but then, maybe that’s exactly why we shouldn’t look to a beauty product to revolutionize our culture’s standards. If we already love the way we look, do we need Dove? Not according to this campaign, which is certainly about the way our bodies look to others, not about how they feel to ourselves.

  6. KateD says

    Michelle you don’t get it.
    You posted: “Would “we” really want to see a man with a beer gut in all his glory plastered on billboards? ”
    The Dove Girls are not fat. They are not out of shape. They are larger than the skinny models, but they are in great shape.
    I would love to know their weight and size.
    Personally I would love to see a normal healthy guy who is not pumped on on steroids on a billboard.

  7. KateD says

    I thought that some of the girls might be a size 14. But I am really astounded. According to Dove none of the Dove girls is larger than a 12.

    This is from a Newsweek on-line article on the Dove Girls:

    “Dove says their models are in their 20s and range from size 6 to size 12. The average American woman is somewhere between a 12 and 14 according to a 2004 survey by SizeUSA (a project sponsored by Target and JCPenney stores among others).”

    I knew they weren’t fat.

  8. debby says

    I hate those ads. I don’t care what the models weigh or look like, I really don’t want to see billboards of people in thier undies no matter what size or sex.

  9. Melody Mankus says

    I just kinda tripped over your site when I saw your book on I read your Sun Times article too. I just don’t get it. Those women look fine! They look happy and healthy. I in no way regard myself as overweight (being 5’0″ and a comfortable size 8) but like most women, I’m always looking to make sure my curves stay in the right places. If the Dove women are “Fat Cows”, what does that make me?! I hope Dove has started a trend, showing women that it is not about being a size 6 or smaller, it’s about being happy and healthy and not spending your life measuring out every little ounce of everything and killing yourself at the gym striving to be a waif. Unnaturally, sickening thin– great look to strive for!

    PS- My husband (a smart man!), doesn’t get the big deal either. “So…what’s wrong with them?” he asked quizzically.

  10. Ruby says

    What confuses me the most is that the guys who publicly swear up and down that these women are unattractive are the same guys who look at a curvy girl and think privately that she’s the hottest thing they’ve ever seen.

    I think I’m beautiful at 5’5 and 170. They think I’m not. Whom to believe?

  11. Kourteney says

    Thanks for pointing out the REAL issue: that many men seem to believe that not just women, but society owes them whatever they want, especially in regards to sex. Even more kudos for showing just how threatened guys feel whenever someone (or something) challenges that idea. Sadly, it all comes down to this same macho posturing.

  12. Ayanna says

    A wonderful, well-written column. Thank you so much for bringing attention to the fact that Roeper’s mind has been so affected by the Hollywood “glamour” that he involves himself in that he doesn’t know what real women look like. He gets a thumbs down, while you get a thumbs up. By the way, my husband loves the ads. He’s definitely a keeper.

  13. Menaka says

    Go Wendy! I’m so glad you’re out there, hovering like a patron saint of Sanity. Your piece was really well-done and obviously needed in this stupid fray.

    Bill Zwecker’s on-air “apology” made me want to shoot myself in the face. Worse than his total lack of remorse (he’s entitled to his opinion, after all) was his obvious lack of understanding about the actual issue. I half-expected him to throw up his hands and say, “Give a guy a break. I can’t be expected to understand you hysterical females, what with your ovaries and menstruation and whatnot.” And of course, his female co-hosts just tittered along — instead of, I don’t know, jumping on the news desk and threatening to castrate him.

    Popular media rarely recognizes the fact that different folks get off on different strokes. I’ve noticed that on any show that purports “hot” men (“The Bachelorette”, etc.), the guys featured are generally too orange, gel-ed up and beau-hunky for my taste. THIS is my eye candy? For shame, television networks. Until you feature sensitive academic men with long fingers and a quiet style, I refuse to watch your programming.

    All of us are attracted to different kinds of people. Thank god, or we’d never procreate.

    I just hate the fact that we are being manipulated to think that a diversity of sexual preferences is perverse.

  14. sarah says

    The irony of Roeper’s nasty comments is that the Dove girls, according to People magazine, are all pretty much in the normal/healthy weight range. In other words, they are not even representative of most americans-men and women.

    Fat is the final frontier of civil rights for all-while Roeper I’m sure would never call someone a “kike” or a “nigger” , it’s okay to refer to a fat woman-or rather, someone he perceives as fat- as a cow or somehow less than human.

    I look forward to the day when we can all at least respect one another. What defines “sexual attractive” is obviously different for everyone-but everyone surely can allow one another the right to exist.