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Old 6th October 2008   #1
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Whitney: CoverGirl ad #6

Of this you may be sure: If there is a heaven, it will look very much like Whitney's CoverGirl commercials.

* * *

A love of baking has long had a special association with full-figured models. The most beautiful ad that Natalie Laughlin ever appeared in was this innocent yet intensely alluring promotion for Lane Bryant:

One of the few things that the public ever learned about Shannon Marie--the most gorgeous plus-size model of all time--was that she loved to bake, as recounted in her profile.

Not long ago, a company that produces video games based on the Nancy Drew mysteries released a title called Danger By Design, which centres around a plus-size model who, throughout the game, is seen baking (and eating) cookies in order to maintain her curvy figure.

The scenes of the model baking are extraordinarily beautiful. They exude a heartwarming feeling of comfort, of . . . home.

And of course, perhaps the most popular moments in Cycle 10 of America's Next Top Model were the shots of Whitney cooking in the well-appointed house kitchen. Most famous of all was the scene in the celebrated recap episode, when Whitney was seen baking muffins.

The sight of Whitney seductively licking the batter off the ladle was one of the most sensual images ever broadcast on prime-time television:

Small wonder, then, that the creative geniuses at CoverGirl decided to incorporate scenes of Whitney baking into the model's latest commercial, producing not only the most appealing ad in the entire series so far, but also possibly the loveliest TV commercial of all time.

Miss Thompson looks more attractive in this ad than ever before. Maybe it's the domestic setting, and the nurturing qualities associating with baking. Maybe it's the subtle hint of self-indulgence--the sense that the model will eagerly dig into the cupcakes the moment that the camera isn't watching. Maybe it's the clean, calm location--so warm and wholesome. Maybe it's the wardrobe--the sleeveless top which shows off the model's arms, and the yellow skirt which acknowledges her womanly hips. Maybe it's the long blonde hair, tied back in ponytails in a very Old World manner. Change the decor just a little, and this could be a scene right out of 19th-century Germany--so perfectly does Whitney's natural beauty blend with this environment.

Whatever it is, Whitney looks truly angelic here, the roundness of her face much emphasized. Notice how her modest demeanour, her downward glance, contributes to the quality of traditional femininity about her.

The ad displays every step in the baking process, and does so in the most beautiful way possible. The sight of Whitney cracking an egg becomes a picture of domestic tranquillity--and notice how the camera incorporates a view of her shapely arms and buxom curves.

The shot of the egg in the bowl is like a Renaissance still-life painting, updated for the present day.

Baking is another one of the distaff arts (like sewing and other forms of needlework) that the modern media presents in negative terms--for obvious political reasons. This commercial is refreshing because it revels in the joy and beauty of this traditional activity--and shows how irresistibly gorgeous a model becomes when she undertakes it.

Notice the use of a very natural, buttery yellow as the base colour for the model's wardrobe--a hue which perfectly suits Whitney's blonde beauty.

This commercial demonstrates what true femininity is all about. Images such as this are infinitely more alluring than the raunchiest lingerie pictures or swimwear photos could ever be.

The cupcakes that Whitney bakes are the most eye-catching fashion accessories imaginable,

especially because of the anticipation that they generate in the viewer--the implication that the goddess will soon indulge in these delicacies.

Once the cupcakes have been completed, the camera shows Whitney taking them to share with a group of her friends. Again, notice the coy sensuality--the camera catching a glimpse of her rounded midriff,

as well as her buxom curves. The association of food and feminine beauty in this ad is subtle but unmistakable.

The second half of the commercial shows Whitney with her girlfriends in a cozy, peaceful setting. One can almost sense the vanilla-scented candles mixing with the aroma of the freshly-baked cupcakes.

Delightfully, the camera notices Whitney helping herself to those cupcakes (her hand identifiable from the nail polish seen earlier).

Good spirits abound, as Whitney and her friends enjoy the pleasant sensation that girls derive from not starving themselves, but eating whatever they like. The viewer also catches a glimpse of the attractive curve under Whitney's chin.

Notice that, as in previous CoverGirl ads, Whitney is fuller-figured than the other girls in the commercial. The subtle implication is that, if these young women wish to possess Miss Thompson's beauty, and live a "model's life," they need not sentence themselves to exercise-torture, or starvation, or narcotics,

but should enjoy a healthy, happy life of sweet self-indulgence, as she does.

The commercial then smoothly transitions into a recognizable cosmetics ad, cleverly associating the blending of makeup with the mixing of ingredients in baking. (Notice again how the camera works in a shot of Whitney's figure.)

Whitney shares the cosmetics with her friends, just as she shared the cupcakes--again, creating a wonderful association between food and beauty, implying that both ingredients are necessary for feminine attractiveness.

By not merely plugging a product, but placing it in a narrative context, these CoverGirl commercials function more like magazine editorials than mere ads, which is a testament to their artistry.

And speaking of artistry, the final scenes, featuring Whitney beautifying herself, associate the application of makeup with an artistic endeavour, with the model becoming her own lovely canvas.

The final shot, showing Whitney admiring herself in the mirror, is a masterful present-day update of a traditional theme in Western art: Venus, the goddess of beauty, enthralled by her own beauty as she gazes upon her reflection in a looking-glass.

Just when we thought that Miss Thompson's CoverGirl ads couldn't become any lovelier, they do. The celebration of baking, and the attractive manner in which it is presented, makes this Whitney's loveliest commercial to date.

This series is more than just a celebration of the model's gorgeous appearance--although it certainly is that. It is a reimagining of the fundamental premises of fashion advertising. It shows that instead of glamorizing a drugged-out urban lifestyle, or pushing a feminist agenda, companies can present traditional depictions of femininity, celebrating wholesome values that are as timeless as Whitney's beauty, and as natural as human essence.

- Click here to watch video

Last edited by HSG : 24th July 2009 at 00:00.
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Old 8th October 2008   #2
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Re: Whitney: CoverGirl ad #6

Originally Posted by HSG

Miss Thompson looks more attractive in this ad than ever before. Maybe it's the domestic setting, and the nurturing qualities associating with baking. Maybe it's the subtle hint of self-indulgence--the sense that the model will eagerly dig into the cupcakes the moment that the camera isn't watching.

I've loved this entire series of CoverGirl ads - they're like mini-movies - but this is the most beautiful one of all. Just look at the screencap above. It could be a layout in a magazine - and as others have said before, these commercials provide a host of wonderful ideas for perfect full-figured-model photoshoots.

The association of a plus-size model with food, in this way, is not only beautiful, but genuinely constructive. It takes away the stigma about appetite that too many curvy girls have had hammered into them by society, and shows them that they can really like food, really enjoy eating; that they can feel comfortable with themselves.

Oh, and by the way, CoverGirl is being very clever with these ads, because not only are they beautiful to look at, but they're reaching an audience that otherwise would have nothing to do with fashion advertising (i.e., Middle America). For example, this particular commercial was posted (and praised) at a Web log called "All Things Cupcake":

How cute! I just love the idea that a model would be celebrated at a site that specifically enthuses about baking (and eating). What a refreshing turnaround from the old idea that a model must be identified with starvation. It's a full 180 turn in perceptions - and it's about time.

Last edited by HSG : 24th July 2009 at 00:03. Reason: URL edited
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Old 9th October 2008   #3
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Posts: 517
Default ''Sexy girls have dessert''

Does everyone remember that popular ad tagline from a few years ago which ran, "Sexy girls have dessert?" I love how this commercial plays into that theme, and adds the extra wrinkle, "Sexy girls bake dessert."

I always enjoy seeing an association between plus-size beauties and sweet self-indulgence. A mythological association that comes up on this forum frequently is how Venus, the goddess of beauty, was always attended by Ceres, the goddess of the harvest -- of food -- indicative of the timeless belief that feminine beauty and a generous appetite go hand in hand.

There was another great thread about this topic on the forum here:

By the way, I found an TV announcement stating that Whitney will be appearing on this season of ANTM in a couple of weeks:


"AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL" (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)

"Now You See Me, Now You Don't" (CONTENT RATING TBD)

TYRA ANNOUNCES THE OVERSEAS LOCATION The ladies pull a disappearing act for this week's challenge. As is Top Model tradition, the remaining girls test their on-camera talents when they shoot their CoverGirl commercial with the help of cycle 10 winner, Whitney Thompson. During judging, Tyra reveals this cycle's overseas destination and one girl is sent home (#1108).

It's fitting that Whitney should be assisting with the commercials, since her own CoverGirl ads have been so good. I'm especially delighted by this one, with the cupcakes, because it's so subtly pro-curvy.

I do wish that Whitney were fuller-figured, but you really have to applaud her commercials for their themes, for their visual beauty, and for her performance in them.
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