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News & Insight

‘Lustworthy’- Ads You’d Never See in a Magazine | Series by Liora K and The Militant Baker

By Hanssie on December 28th 2013

2013 saw an entire year of “fat shaming” scandals. From the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, to Lululemon, and ‘Fit Mom,’ it seems that people were more vocal about weight and body image and negating the damage that their message may cause to women, especially young girls.

Photographer Liora K and Jes Baker from The Militant Baker, is seeking to do their part to perpetuate their belief that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, even one that may not be considered as “conventionally beautiful.” This duo previously teamed up earlier this year, with their “Attractive and Fat” series, aimed at Mike Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie, who made highly controversial remarks about wanting to market only to “thin, beautiful and cool” people.

[REWIND: Abercrombie & Fitch Becomes Attractive & Fat | An Open Letter to Mike Jeffries]

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Liora and Baker’s new “Lustworthy,” series is a bold statement that “challenges what body types are permissibly desirable in media.” The series shows a faux perfume ad “for the visible woman.” In the photos, Baker is provocatively frolicking in the snow with a male model. Baker states that in mainstream advertising, you’ll never find a sexy photo shoot that “pair nontraditional bodies with traditionally attractive models.” Baker and Liora received much attention and backlash for the “Attractive and Fat” series as a result of the discomfort they caused with their images because “companies capitalize on the thought that atypical bodies are not attractive, desirable or lust worthy.” They disagree and came back with this bold and unorthodox series.

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“Lustworthy,” attempts to continue to push viewers out of their comfort zone so that society can begin to shift it’s view toward an ideal where contrasting body types would be socially acceptable.

It turns out that no body is inferior (and consequently no body is superior), and so all bodies have the opportunity to be paired will all bodies. This isn’t an opinion. This is a fact. I see it in my life. I see it in other people’s lives. I see it everywhere.

Everywhere except for advertising.

So Liora and I changed that.

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Liora and Baker have 4 more installments planned where many other shapes, sizes and races will be represented. They two are also furthering their mission to promote “body positivity” through their 2014 Body Love Conference and Fundrazer.

What do you think about Liora K and Jes Baker’s mission to promote more diversity in ad campaigns and ultimately change how society views diverse faces and bodies? Would love to hear your thoughts below.

[Via @Jezebel]

CREDITS: All photographs by Liora K are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Truxora

    Her tattered hair takes away from the full effect.

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  2. Sara

    One more thing. Women aren’t the only ones affected negatively by this narrow view of beauty. The flip side is that men are made to feel that appreciating a fuller figured woman makes them strange, or suggests it’s a fetish. Let beauty be in the eye of the beholder. Media is not the beholder, it is the seller. Think for yourself.

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  3. Sara

    Connor, you seem to be sending mixed messages. On the one hand you’re saying personality trumps appearance, but on the other you’re saying we should all aim for the same weight, but masking it with a “healthy” label. I don’t think this campaign is trying to make people ok with health concerns brought on by obesity. I would also not use that term for this beautiful woman. The fact is there is a much bigger range of “healthy weight” than most people realize, and mainstream media is not representing it. They only show a very narrow range of healthy weight. And there is much more to health than just weight. For example, most people who are “average” seem to think anything over 200lbs is obese. I am 250(ish) lbs and nobody believes me. I recently participated in a workout class where I was clearly the heaviest and I was shocked to see younger and much thinner women quitting the sets before I did.
    Health and fitness is not just a number on a scale. But more importantly to this campaign, beauty and sex appeal are more than a particular set of measurements. If mainstream media represented the huge diversity of body types and fitness levels, and called them all beautiful, it would dramatically improve self esteem the world over.
    Kudos, Liora and Jes!

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    • Connor

      You are completely right there are many different factors that come into play to determine how healthy a person is. Beauty is also the same, one persons beautiful may be another person’s ugly. I don’t believe this ad is telling people to be okay with the health concerns of obesity and encouraging people to become obese. I believe that ads like this may unintentionally discourage people from exercising or eating healthy. One persons healthy weight obviously can be another person’s obese and there may be plenty of people who appear overweight but are completely healthy, but the sad truth is that their are probably more overweight people that are unhealthy and by exercising and eating healthier they can lower the amount of fat they have which could help with heart disease, joint problems, diabetes, etc.
      My intention by commenting on this post was not to appear shallow or insincere. I apologize if I offended anyone

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    • Matthew Saville

      Sara, in my opinion there are two things at play here: feeling sexy, and actually having a healthy body. The two ought to coincide, but sometimes they don’t. IMO we should all aspire to be a healthy person, whether big or small, and yes being healthy involves not being TOO big or TOO small.

      In other words: society and the media needs to shut up about their vision for the ONLY type of sexy that they think is popular, yes, but don’t forget that being healthy usually does mean a certain range of body type.

      =Matt=

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  4. Connor

    I love the message of these photos. Beauty can be found in many different forms, but I believe photos like these are inadvertently promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. Everyone should feel comfortable with and proud of who they are but with the recent ridicule of the traditional “Attractive & Thin” ad campaign and the increased promotion of media like “Attractive & Fat” I feel this is discouraging people from pursuing activities like exercising and eating healthy. All activities that are good for a person. With media telling people that they are overweight and beautiful there is not motivation to pursue any of those healthy activities like exercising.

    We have almost started treating a person’s weight like their style of clothing or personality. Weight is not an accessory. With clothing and personality it is okay to be on the far end of either side of the spectrum. It is not the same with weight. People should not be Overweight or Underweight, we should strive to fall right in the middle, “Average”. With weight it is the one time that being mainstream should be encouraged because that “average of optimal” weight is a huge factor in determining if we are healthy.

    A Person’s weight does not determine who that person is. If someone is 230 pounds and then slims down to 130 they are still the same person. Their personality and beliefs are still there. They didn’t burn them off along with their fat. Instead of having ad campaigns that tell people to be comfortable with their bodies we should encourage people to be comfortable with who they are as a person, something that appearance does not determine, while also encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

    If more people focused on how media of slim individuals could help encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle and improve their lives rather than how it can hurt them I feel this whole debate of “weight” in media wouldn’t even exist.

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  5. David

    I suspect a lot of the backlash is do to the fact she’s prominently using herself in the images. The trouble with that is it’s easy for people to think it’s just self-promotion, and thus the message is at risk of getting lost. If she’s going to hire a professional male model she should hire some professional plus sized models, at least they know how to pose their bodies and face.
    I totally understand her message and I understand the first series probably had to use herself as the model. But doing a second time just makes me wonder if this isn’t some sort of self-promotion or thing for her own vanity.

    Why no a professional plus sized model is my question, it certainly would fit the criteria, send the message and look less awkward.

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    • Hanssie

      You have a point I didn’t think of. I don’t know if people know right off the bat that it is her though, but I like your idea of hiring a different model.

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    • Liora K

      We began with Jes to help spread the word about the series, but she will be not be modeling for it again. We’re going to have a wide spread of people participating – very excited!

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  6. Melinda Morse

    it would be nice if media would follow suit. This photo shoot has shown that there is beauty even in unconventional. It’s not that we the public didn’t already know this, but apparently media doesn’t.

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    • Hanssie

      I agree. But would images like this in a mainstream magazine sell? As of right now, I would say no. We are so used to the airbrushed perfection and the glitz and glamour perpetuated by media these days. Until we stop buying the crap they are pushing and speak up like Liora K and Jes are doing, I fear the cookie cutter, waif-like creatures will remain.

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