Advergirl.com writes: "I've noticed that publishers and advertisers have managed to make pregnancy look hot (less the swollen ankles and vomiting, of course); so, the next challenge can only be making the diaper-bag-toting, exhausted, mother-of-a-two-year old hot, too."
Adrants adds: "That might be interesting to see and, of course, would be the next logical step in America's progression toward politically correct nirvana." (The repressed American theme on Adrants is old: "We know the French aren't hung up about sex the way we Americans are...")
Aside: I don't see a PC-bent in America when a recent Wired shares that kids are being labelled crotchfruit ("a derogatory term for children coined by staunch advocates of child-free public spaces" that's also spreading as an online term for kids.)
Anyway this advertisement and many many others, to me, comes across as designed by a man for a particular segment of the male population with a particular view of sexiness (hint: it's not a renaissance man). The best advice I've gotten in ages, came from my friend Ruby, a single mom with two kids, a few months ago when she advised me to spend more time in nature and more time with kids. (I'm currently single, sans kids.) All I can say is thank you thank you Ruby. Serendipitiously I also find myself spending more time with moms and learning how they view the world.
Steve Hall of Adrants feels this trend centers around political correctedness, I counter that the trend centers around recognizing the inherent enchantment in the undercurrent of ordinary workaday lives that most of us are living.
Glamorous, exotic models and lifestyles in advertising and marketing have long been the norm, but methinks women (and men) are starting to suspect and wake up to the erotica in everyday life.
In Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening, Parisien Buddhist teacher Daniel Odier is having a Q&A exchange with a man who says he only feels ecstatic during orgasm yet "dreams of a kind of ecstasy that would influence my whole life." Odier responds:
Then it is necessary to be involved with your whole life...Sexuality cannot be isolated, or made the special or choice vehicle of ecstasy, because the human being demands totality...All searching that isolates one element of human nature in order to make it the only vehicle of the quest anticipates neurotic contact with life.
Sexuality is important if we believe that each and every contact of the senses with the world is a love affair. This is what the yoginis have taught us. This is what I understood from my time with Devi [his Tantric guru]. For her, a leaf falling from a tree, a cloud passing, a fish in the river, the sensation of the sun or ash on her skin, the passing of an emotion or an idea - all that was lived like an unending love affair with the world...To be this absolute lover in ordinary daily life is what causes wonderment to arise unceasingly. When the whole of life is permeated with this tremoring vibration, ecstasy is no longer linked to one particular activity: It flows in all things.
Imagine marketing and advertising that doesn't isolate sexuality to bikini-clad babes or simply the act of intercourse. Imagine advertising and marketing that addresses the tremoring vitality and artfulness in the totality of human experience. Yes, pregnancy is hot and the spate of celebrity babies hasn't hurt (latest is Isabella, and proud parents Matt Damon and Luciana Bozan yesterday.) "How does Angelina Jolie make pregnancy look chic?," I read in a magazine blurb on a plane flight to Seattle. Mostly it's because Jolie doesn't shut down, hide out, and label pregnancy as unsexy, unbeautiful. The article goes on to say she shied away from dowdy maternity clothing and opted to wear drapey dresses and tops from Theory.
Never heard of Theory? Well, women, yeah, moms talk. Theory clothing fits into everyday life without compromising beauty. "She wanted clothes to go with her to the office, with the family, on the weekend, out at night...Theory created a collection that fused great separates with outfits that could be worked into any woman's existing wardrobe."
- "The genius of Theory clothing, I have long believed, lies in its great understanding of the flattering powers and subtleties of stretch. The label’s ability to craft the perfect, just-Lycra-enough working-girl suit (under $600 for tab-front trousers, jacket lightly shrunken, with a sleek little camisole underneath) has earned a following so devoted and so dogged it’s hard to believe Theory didn’t have its own freestanding store until this year." - October 6, 2003, New York Magazine
- A shopper gushes: "Now that I've worn Theory pants, I'll never wear anything else!!!"
- "Theory's focus has never been on advertising, marketing or brand-building. Except, of course, through its clothes. Ask a woman about her favorite black pants or the jacket she throws on over everything. She'll tell you, "It's Theory."" - Nordstrom's site
Finally, I'd like to end with Daniel Odier's admiration for his female Kashmiri Shaivism teacher, Devi, a description that befits anyone observing a three-year-old too:
Devi was not there to give me what I expected; she was there to help me liberate myself within the ordinariness of the everyday, and this was the revolution of my life...
There was no ritual other than to breathe, walk, bathe in the icy water of the waterfall; to look at the earth, the lichens, the trees, the leaves, the common objects; to enter deeply into contact with life, reality. "Adhere deeply to reality with the heart of your being; there is nothing else to look for!" she would say...
The smallest thing would fill her with wonder. Her ecstasy was continually fed by the slightest modification of things. In her was no intentionality at all, simply an immediate and unfailing enjoyment of each moment. In comparison and despite my sensual nature, I had the impression of being totally cut off from the world. Her steadfast joy, her brilliant gaze, her continual tremoring gave the impression that she was making love with the tiniest particle of the universe. - Desire: The Tantric Path of Awakening
images SEAT Alta family car advertisement; and what I think is a much more sensual image of pregnancy that would resonate with women and men from a midwife's site; Angelina Jolie; a Theory 'Koko' shirt at Nordstrom's