July 2009

Remembering the Body Shop's Ruby

Did you know that according to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Size USA the average woman's measurements in the US are 41-34-43? And what about the average American woman's dress size? It's 12. Those are just a couple of the facts I dug up while researching for my latest article, "Remembering Ruby."

And who's Ruby? This curvaceous character was the star of an innovative campaign created by The Body Shop aimed at promoting body acceptance:

"In 1997, the socially-conscious international cosmetics franchise created Ruby: a chubby-cheeked, chestnut-haired, computer-generated figurine. Ruby was the brainchild of The Body Shop's self-esteem campaign, 'Love Your Body.' Her size 16 image was accompanied by the caption, 'There are 3 billion women who don't look like supermodels and only 8 who do.' She sent the message that you should love what you've got, not loathe it."

So what happened to Ruby? I'll give you a couple of hints. It has something to do with the manufacturer of another doll, one that bears no resemblance to our Rubenseque Ruby. This doll is blond and has the estimated measurements of 38-18-34. (Yes, you read correctly: an 18-inch waist.)

Visit www.any-body.org to find out what exactly was so wrong with Ruby that the Body Shop was forced to shut down the campaign. Feel free to express your thoughts on Ruby's very short life directly on AnyBody's site.

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