This commercial is so absolutely perfect, and so convincingly creates an ideal world--a world in which all of us would dearly wish to live, rather than in our own misbegotten reality--that it is well worth screencapping the video, to preserve its contents for posterity.
The ad begins with a predictable image--a gaunt, sunken-cheeked, harsh-faced model. She gazes to the side. At what?
At a festive wedding party. But right away, one noticed a dramatic difference. Unlike most of the actresses in TV commercials, these women are young, full-figured and beautiful, and beaming with happiness.
We see the bride in close-up, and discover that she is exquisitely attractive, with round, babylike facial features. Her groom is a standard male-model type. ("Luckiest guy in the world," one thinks.)
Next, the groom tenderly embraces the soft figure of his opulently proportioned bride, and kisses her passionately.
The full arms and buxom curves of the maid of honour are abundantly displayed as well.
Now the commercial reveals its premise, as it shows the sallow-faced woman looking enviously at the voluptuous bride. This is a world in which her emaciated look is seen for what it is--unfeminine and unappealing.
The underweight woman drives away, and as she cruises down the street, she notices a billboard featuring a dazzling plus-size model with very full arms and a sumptuous waist, dressed in a chic sleeveless top, posing in a sexy manner. The name reads Bella
("Beautiful"), confirming that this model embodies the ideal of beauty in the commercial's alternative reality.
As the skinny woman stops at an intersection, a pair of shapely goddesses crosses the street, prompting a chorus of appreciative wolf-whistles.
The ad shows this vocal admiration coming from a group of GQ types.
For a moment, the gaunt woman believes that she might be the target of this male interest.
But no, it is the trio of heavier beauties in the next car along who have captured their hearts.
The girls coo, and blow kisses to their admirers, flushed with self-confidence. Notice how alluringly they are dressed, baring their arms and flaunting their decolletage.
The camera again shows the misery on the face of the starving woman, who watches all of this attention being devoted to full-figured girls, not to her.
A moment later, she again thinks that some men might be noticing her, as a group of construction workers calls out in her direction.
But no--they are instead admiring a well-fed beauty who is passing by.
As this voluptueuse
walks along, she does an impromptu pirouette, as if to better show off her ample charms to her male admirers. She basks in their attention, feeding off of it, her vanity glorious to see.
Like the other goddesses in this commercial, she is attractively attired in elements of the "new femininity"--a body-hugging top and a figure-embracing skirt, both of which clearly display the fullness of her contours.
As she turns, the camera comes in close, revealing the sensually rounded swell of her waist.
She appears intoxicatingly buxom, with luscious arms--white, soft, and full.
And as she turns, the camera catches a broad smile on her face, which seems to say, "How wonderful to live in a world where I can eat as much as I want, and be adored for my beauty."* * *
The commercial is not just a picture of an "alternative" reality, but of a superior reality--a better reality than our own. It depicts the world as it should be--the world as it would be, if the timeless ideal of beauty that dominated Western culture from the Classical era through the Victorian age had been allowed to continue, instead of being displaced by androgynous modernism.
This is what Lillian Russell's world would look like today--a world in which women would be adored for eating generously, appreciated for their curves.
The fact that all of the buxom damsels in the commercial look happy and satisfied makes this an accurate presentation of what such a reality would be like. In this world, full-figured women would be delighted with their appearance, would freely eat whatever they wish, and would dress to show off their universally-admired figures. And men would be free to express their true aesthetic inclinations, free to act on their attraction to well-fed goddesses. It would be a happier world than our own--happier for both men and women alike.
Now, compare this ideal world with the reality in which we live--a grey world in which shapely women are banned from the media, shamed by Hollywood, forced to starve themselves perpetually, and to live in the misery of self-denial.
But there is no reason why our world need be the dystopia that it is. There is no reason why the dream-realm of this commercial cannot be brought to life. After all, our current world is a mistake, a deviation from the natural flow of history, an aberration that was constructed not by fate or by elemental forces, but by individual human beings--political ideologues, and persons with alien aesthetic tastes--who foisted their warped perceptions on society and remade it in their own twisted vision.
But what they did can be undone. The ideal world can be restored--and, as this commercial shows, it would be a wonderful world indeed.