There it was this week. It popped up on my timeline frequently. Shared by women. Even some critical ones, who work in advertising. Women I look up to. The bright ones. The though ones. They all embraced the new film of M&S fashion.
It is called #curvepower. And I really don’t get it.
The movie starts with piano music in the desert. I immediately realize: I’m in for a mission-vision kind of statement. M&S is going to tell me their ’Why’.
We are on a road, a transparent scarf floats through the landscape. The male voice-over starts slowly:
“Lines shape you… They shape your bum. Your belly. Your boops.”
As he speaks the film displays naked body parts of women.
Lines shape me? According to M&S, I am someone’s drawing? Am I the reproduction of a sketch, a higher plan? I always thought the lines follow my shape, not the other way around. Unless… Is M&S telling me God is my creator?
The film continues.
“And thank God they are not straight lines, but the ones that wobble. The ones that curve.”
There it is! M&S is thanking God! For not drawing us in straight lines. But making us wobbly and curvy. They show a woman climbing out a pool and one trying to fit into a pair of faux-leather pants. These women are normal, not super thin.
We now see a pregnant woman standing naked behind the curtain on the balcony. Then we look at a woman sleeping. Also naked. We move over to two less naked ones dancing in a club, seductively. Everything is beautifully filmed, but what in God’s name is M&S trying to tell me?
The voice-over goes:
“We love those lines.
Whether they are smooth or quirky.
Or whether you think they are a bit too much.
We just can’t get enough of them.
These lines have the power to seduce.
The power to amaze.”
Wait a minute… Who is ’we’ here? Is it the old voice-over speaking on behalf of… men? Are men telling us to not worry about not fitting in our pants because we can just take them off and dance for them in a tiny stretch dress with another girl?
The male voice continues:
“Because these lines don’t come from thought, but life.”
(we are now in the desert again)
“They are life.”
(we see a the hand of a baby)
Pause right here, please. “These lines don’t come from thought… But life”? Lines come from life. And they are life at the same time, they are their own origin. My God. I have graduated in Metaphysics but this must be PhD material…
Maybe M&S reveals the clue in the end. We are almost there:
“So do not hide your curves.”
(we see a topless woman in the pool)
“Show the world what you’ve got.”
(we see a naked woman having sex..)
“Make people turn their heads.”
(we see an ass and boob shaking girl wearing lace again)
“And if they don’t like what they see.”
(suddenly the faux-leather pants do fit the girl)
“Turn around and show them your glorious ass.”
Regardless my surgical script reading, M&S #curvepower has left me completely clueless. Should I expose my curves because life (or, sorry: lines) made them? Should I worship the master of lines?
Or are we just being told plus-sizes are sexy and seductive? Men love us for it, I know. And so does M&S of course, since they sell cheap synthetic clothes tochubby women with short hair.
I do hope the trend of spreading self-proclaimed existential wisdoms is soon over and brands will just tell me what they hold in store.
This column was written for and published by Amsterdam Ad blog: