Does H&M's latest advert really sum up what it means to be a lady in 2016? Have you seen it? View it here on YouTube for enlightenment, or despair.
H&M themselves have stated that their Autumn/Winter campaign “aims to redefine what it means to be a lady”.
Sorry H&M, but not if we have anything to do with it.
While I agree that yes, we all have these moments; waiting longer than necessary to shave our legs, picking food out of our teeth and slumping in front of the TV (after all, we are human), I disagree when it comes to outwardly encouraging and glorifying this slovenly behaviour in society. Standards are already slipping without advertising agencies adding fuel to the fire.
The women in the advert are not ladies. Beautiful yes, some are rather inspiring characters, but they are sorely lacking in some areas of decorum. The fact that H&M have used this rudeness to define what it means to be a lady is disheartening. Wouldn't it be nice if our gender were at least represented in a flattering light and encouraged to be ladylike? Glorifying our potential for grace, dignity and pleasantness rather than unattainable perfection, or at the other end of the spectrum, piggishness, rudeness and low standards?
Is this who a lady is now? Shall we all look to the cast of miserable soap characters for pointers on how to not wash, have poor table manners, whine about life and grow out our armpit hair? Is this how we will “get on in society”?
Surely it isn't the example we wish to set for our children? It's all fun and games taking our brood to the school gates in our pyjamas (just because we can) - until they grow up and refuse to bathe, and worse, won't submit to dressing up on occasions we deem to be special and important. We have rules about common decency for a reason.
It is important to be polite and respectful every day. Our societal foundations should be built on decorum and making other people feel comfortable in our presence. Etiquette is the very idea that you care more about other people's feelings and comfort than your own.
If I was sat next to that lady on the train, you can bet your bottom dollar I'd want to move.
Are we throwing away our razors and picking our noses out of defiance, or because it just feels so good? Is 2016 the year of pleasing ourselves? That's a slippery slope. Why bother with buying new clothes from H&M if you don't really care how you present yourself to the world anyway? It's an odd marketing message and one that leaves women confused - It's ok to be a slob, but you should still care about dressing in the latest fashions.
H&M's spokesperson has even gone to great lengths stating that the dictionary's definition of a lady is “old and outdated”. This person is most confused. While the behaviours and examples exhibited in the campaign can be attributed to humans, men and women alike, they should not attributed to a lady. Men can be beer-swigging kebab-eating monsters, but you wouldn't want to create a fusion of this behaviour with the dictionary definition of what it means to be a “gentleman”. Our Mr Darcy fantasies would have to die a slow and painful death!
While you may think shaving your legs and sitting up straight will not achieve much - it does at the very least show that you make an effort for company, and a true lady always makes an effort.
Ladies are not born, they are made.
This misleading ‘bad ass lady’ movement that states “it's ok to not care”, could potentially be just as damaging to our self-esteem and identity as women as those overly photoshopped images we have been exposed to for so many years. Heading due South to turn away from the pressure of the North isn't the way to find your centre. If you follow the patterns of this world rather than spending the time to find balance and your true identity as a woman and lady, you'll get lost.
You are a woman, complete with flaws, big knickers and sometimes hairy legs but don't let an advertising agency tell you that the definition of being a lady is changing. That the very beacon of polite society and decorum can be re-branded a slob. The Darling Academy won't stand for it.
H&M I beg you, leave our dictionary definitions alone. While being a “lady” may be old and outdated to you, some of us like to set our standards according to what has worked beautifully to define a woman of high-standards and grace for a very long time.
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