Sep 27, 2007

A Shocking Campaing (not possible in the USA)

The "Nolita Campaign" has hit Italy and France hard. The ads are not exactly 'pleasant' ones and some consider the images “too crude”.

Of course they are crude because for a change this campaign works with the real world behind the 'beauty' world, and is a reality that none of us really want to see in such a direct way. Is crude, is direct, is controvert, because it is about anorexia.

The campaign coincides with the Milan fashion week and this has helped to optimize its impact.

The photos used in this campaign features a 27 year old French woman named Isabella Caro who has been struggling with anorexia since she was 15 years old. With mere 31 kg (68 pounds) , she admits that for a long time she hid her body, but now she wants to reveal herself for the camera in order to demonstrate how the disease impacts the body.

The Nolita campaign received the backing of the Italian Ministry of Health. However many have been shocked by the graphic nature of the image.

The photographer selected was the very well know Oliviero Toscani, someone who never shied away from images that many find deeply disturbing: he was the man behind the lens that captured the powerful image of a man dying of AIDS that was used in Benetton advertising campaign.

You can see here the images for the Nolita campaign. I am including both, in small size but you can click to see them larger if you want (and if you can stand them).

I believe this campaign wouldn't be possible in the US. Not only includes nudity ( I guess that the puritan's background of this country has made nudity as terrible as killing) but I am sure that also some lawyer or some group would find a reason to sue or to get it banned.

On the other hand is true that (north)America is far away of having anorexia as one of their top health problems. Of course there are anorexics here as I guess they are everywhere, but the mainstream problem when it comes to health and diet is more the opposite, obesity.

What makes me think... would someone have the guts to make a similar campaign to address the obesity problem? Or it is still more bearable to see this extreme (on the skinny side) that the opposite on the obese side?

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