(Originally posted on The Judgment of Paris Forum, August 11, 2004.)
Addition-Elle's fall campaign may lack the sizzle of some of the company's past triumphs--such as Fall 2002, Spring 2003 and Spring 2004--but it deserves a nod here for sheer creativity.
The theme of the campaign is "Make a Statement," and, as Benedick tells us in Much Ado about Nothing, "There's a double meaning in that." In the figurative sense, the company is suggesting that a curvaceous woman can "makes a statement" by wearing one of Addition-Elle's more alluringly feminine outfits. But in the literal sense, the company is also encouraging each of its customers to actually compose a "statement" of her personal credo, and to submit it to Addition-Elle.com in order to win a gift certificate.
Frankly, it's a brilliant idea. Just as Elena Miro invited the whole world to create visual expressions of timeless femininity with its "Shapely Woman" art contest, so is Addition-Elle encouraging the public to employ wordcraft in celebrating plus-size beauty. Two of the slogans that the site offers as suggestions are "Marilyn Monroe had curves, and so do I," and "Real women have curves." (Stealing from other sources is apparently permitted.)
Not only will this promotion help the public identify Addition-Elle as a truly pro-plus brand, but it could also genuinely do its share of good for size celebration. Being challenged to come up with affirmative statements will prompt participants to think in a size-positive way--and therefore, to feel better about themselves. It will also invite them to reject cultural brainwashing, and to revalue the aesthetic values that the mass media has imposed on modern society.
Over the years, contributors to this forum have composed or quoted many size-positive statements. A few examples that come to mind right away include:
-"Plus size equals plus beauty."
-"Twenty pounds sexier than you."
-"Curves: Make the most of them."
-"Sexy girls have dessert."
These are precisely the kind of statements that Addition-Elle is undoubtedly looking for.
So, good luck to everyone who chooses to participate. And to get your pens moving, here is a capture of the current AE home page graphic. We are not overly fond of this model's look, but at least the image shows how seductive a feminine dress can be when it adorns a naturally curvaceous, womanly figure.