Monday, March 29, 2010
In 1998, The Body Shop debuted its self-esteem campaign, featuring the generously proportioned doll named "Ruby." Her figure graced windows in The Body Shop windows in the UK that year, along with the slogan, "There are 3 billion women who don't look like supermodels and only 8 who do." She went on to appear in stores in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Ruby was a fun idea, but she carried a serious message. She was intended to challenge stereotypes of beauty and counter the pervasive influence of the cosmetics industry. In the United States, the toy company Mattel demanded that The Body Shop pull the images of Ruby from American shop windows. Then, in Hong Kong, posters of Ruby were banned on the Mass Transit Railway because authorities said she would offend passengers. Of course, the much more seriously offensive images of silicone-enhanced blondes in other ads were permitted to stay on the trains.