Monday, 6 December 2010

Well Done H&M!

It's the season of Starbucks in red cups and wrapping up like pigs in blankets, and perhaps it's some seasonal cheer subconsciously rubbing off on me but the other day stood in the freezing cold I felt a thaw in my heart and smile crack my lips when the Number 55 zoomed past. I double checked myself - am I going mad? Was I seriously grinning because of a H&M ADVERT!?? Let's start this by saying I am not and never have been a fan of this scourge of the high street. No- they have not sent me anything like a bloggers bribe, and no I wasn't even fussed by the recent Lanvin debacle (no, not even by those metallic shoes: they were totally the wrong shape.) I have not shopped in H&M since I was 15 and just walking past it's acrylic loaded, badly dressed windows makes me shudder. Yet here I was looking like a pleb smiling about their Christmas campaign.

I think it's the first truly diverse piece of advertising the brand have ever released. It's actually the most diverse advertising I have seen from any of the high street monsters, ever. Not just in ethnicity, but in age and to a small extent, body type. Sure it could be much more diverse in regards to size, and I would be even happier to see that, but baby steps. There's no feeling of cramming the token black at the end of the line up, which is the high street's usual nod to diversifying. There's skin of all colours lit really beautifully and looking radiant. There are mothers on display with their kids (granted- Stella Tennant is no ordinary mum, but it's still refreshing to see a woman portrayed as a mother when flogging clothing for the masses; rather than the usual vacant 15 year old.) There are some wrinkles and pores on show and the darkest skin doesn't look at all flat. It's just so well done. I can't find who shot it - any help on that would be appreciated. It looks very Inez and Vinoodh-esque (the Lanvin imagery the pair created was surely on the mood boards.) I couldn't give a toss about the clothes but even they don't look too horrif.

Lots more of this please H&M! How wonderful to see a more diverse cast of faces gracing our buses - who look genuinely fashionable (as oppose to those worthy 'real women looking super real' ads you sometimes see for beauty brands smugly going against the grain. Yes, it's nice to see fresh faced 'real women' but wouldn't be even better to see these 'real women' trussed up like a Christmas turkey, dripping in jewellery with just a bit too much make up on sometimes: the same glamorama treatment given to the stick insects? Why should women-who-wobble look so WORTHY all the time? Essentially these women, even when photographed holding their love handles and laughing, have to appear as un-painted as possible. For their body-sins they are not allowed fur and silk and red lipstick, they must only be seen in opaque, sensible, clean white underwear, that suggests gym wear. Anything less sterile would send the country into a hysterical vomiting panic. How DARE those fatties take a risk with their eyeshadow and hosiery. How REPULSIVE. How unapologetic.)

One last thing. H&M, I don't want any free shoes or handbags, but it would make me really truly happy if next time you would consider using a rad-fatty... with lots of make up and gorgeous styling. Thank you, luv John x

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