I am torn. As the dad of a daughter, I know that she is going to be targeted by the beauty industry with GPS guided missile precision. They are going to do everything in their power to make her feel fat/ugly/outcast, and that their products are the answer to make her feel thin/beautiful/accepted.
What tears at me today is Dove and their Campaign for Real Beauty, a marketing campaign they have been running for the past few years. They have made this really fantastic video about the beauty industry – not their first, and, judging by the profits they are making since launching the campaign (sales up by 11.4% in the first quarter of 2005, just after the campaign launched), not their last.
The thing is – they ARE the beauty industry. And as much as I admire this video and the messages around it, I can’t help but feel that the message is absolutely tainted by the fact that it was funded by the very industry that it skewers.
Yet, it still remains a powerful video. It speaks to the issues that I, as a father, want to speak about with my daughter.
But in the back of my mind remains the niggling fact that the people who made this video are, ultimately, trying to sell their products in the worst way possible – by first convincing my daughter that she is worthless without them.
I was interviewed a few weeks ago by Paul Abra of Island Parent Radio. Paul is putting together a show about kids with allergies and how it affects the entire family. Also on the show Paul interviewed Dr. Janice Joneja an allergy nutrition specialist and author of Dealing with Food Allergies in Babies and Children If you have a kid with allergies, I can highly recommend this book.
I remember when The Boy was first diagnosed with his allergies a year ago (milk, soy, wheat, eggs and peanuts), my wife and I scrambled for information on how to deal with it. And the way you deal with allergies in an infant is by eliminating the allergens from your diet. This meant a massive rethink in the way we eat and, in fact, to the relationship we have with food. I don’t know that we necessarily eat healthier as a family because of the diagnosis, but I do know that we eat differently than we did before.
I sometimes refer to it as a conscious diet, and it sounds obvious – you pay attention to what you eat. You know what is going into your body and consciously decided what to put in. This wasn’t always the case before the diagnosis. Eating was sometimes a reflexive activity, something I didn’t always think about. But when you have a kid with allergies, you become very aware of what goes in to everyone’s body in your family, not just theirs.
And it wasn’t until we were faced with developing a conscious
relationship with our food did I realize how truly varied a diet can
be. It’s pretty easy to fall into a food rut and eat the same foods
over and over out of both habit and necessity. But having a kid with
allergies forces you to examine the full range of food available. And
when you start to look at what you can eat as opposed to what you
can’t, the problem turns into an opportunity as you begin to explore the full range of food available out there.
The interview airs Tuesday, May 6th at 7PM pacific on Village 900 radio.
This sign has bugged me for a long time. Last weekend I finally had a camera with me to snap a picture. First, good on Home Depot for having designated family parking, but why make it exclusive to Moms? I guess Home Depot figures that either Dads never bring their kids to Home Depot (after all, we all know that we go to Home Depot to escape the kids….nonononono), or we don’t mind walking through a 700 car parking lot juggling a one year old on one arm, trying to control an oblivious 4 year old practicing her ballet twirls behind that Land Rover with the shiny reverse lights and equally oblivious driver chatting on a cell phone. Seriously Home Depot, would it have been too much to have the sign say Parking for Families?