Why DNCE’s New Video Toothbrush is so fucking important to me:
DNCE, who’s frontman is Joe Jonas of Burnin Up fame, have snuck their way into the ears (and hearts) of everyone via Cake By The Ocean. Their newest video stars Ashley Graham, plus size model and stone cold fox, as a love interest to frontman Joe.
Now, as groundbreaking as it is to have a plus size woman as the love interest, (with no focus at all on her weight and all the focus on how sexy she is) that is not why it’s important to me. The reason this video is important to be has to do with the lyrics “we don’t need to keep it hush, you could leave a tooth brush.”
There are so many stories of full figured women who meet men who want to date them, but never want to be seen with them in public because they are embarrassed. These men (closeted “fat admirers”, there is even a name and an online community dedicated to them) have been made fun of or ridiculed for preferring plus size women so badly that they don’t even want to be seen in public with one.
If you can get passed the idea that Ashley Graham is physically flawless in general, there is so much representation for the plus sized ladies in this video and it means so much to me. Joe Jonas, a teen hearth throb, is proudly escorting around a plus sized woman with hearts in his eyes.
He takes her out on the town, kisses her at the club, invites her in for a night cap, and wakes up still infatuated with her. He is aroused and present and appreciating her for the sexual being she is.
This was not just a music video. This was not an ad for beats speakers. This was art. This was a story. This was representation.
A 30-second Lane Bryant ad for their spring 2016 “This Body” campaign was rejected by major networks like NBC and ABC for “indecency.“ The ad features several plus-size models kickboxing, rocking denim, posing nude, and affirming what their bodies can do. “This body is made for love,” one model says while breastfeeding. “This body is made for proving them wrong,” says model Precious Lee. “It’s made for being bold, powerful, and sexy,” says Sports Illustrated cover girl Ashley Graham. It’s a holistic, celebratory ad, portraying women in love with themselves and their bodies. Of course they didn’t let us have this one. God forbid we air anything that’s actually body-positive, right?
A representative from NBC claims the ad was rejected “as part of the normal advertising standards process” in order to “comply with broadcast indecency guidelines,” but it’s hard to believe that no bias was involved in the rejection. The ad features no more bare skin than your run-of-the-mill Victoria’s Secret commercial. Graham herself made this point in 2010, the last time a commercial of hers was rejected, telling CBS: “Victoria’s Secret commercials are airing all throughout the day, but when it comes to a Lane Bryant commercial, we have a little bit of extra, you know, overflowing, and then everybody freaks out.”
There’s a lot hiding behind that insidious term “indecency.“ Sexuality runs rampant in advertising; networks have no qualms about running lingerie ads in general. The thing they actually find “indecent” (read: threatening) is an ad showing women celebrating their selves and their sizes, even when those sizes aren’t the size zero we’ve all been told to aspire to.”
“Model Ashley Graham’s recent TED Talk about growing up an outsider in the fashion industry has been making the internet rounds. Below are some of her best thoughts on self love, role models, the term “plus-size,” and body positivity for all.”