Narrow-minded ban

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 April, 1998, 12:00am

Three cheers to Ruby the doll and to the Body Shop for introducing her (it's about time someone did). And a big brickbat to the MTR Corporation for its archaic and prescriptive thoughts.

I would be really interested in finding out what it is particularly that the MTRC and the 40 people it questioned (now that's truly representative of a population of six million) found offensive about the Ruby the doll poster.

Was it really the nudity of this plastic doll, or was it the fact that Ruby brings about a rude awakening, that the majority of women do not, and were not created to, look like Barbie dolls and having to look at something which reminded them of such a reality on a daily basis was too difficult to swallow? I fully agree with those who argue that some of the pictures of women in underwear and slimming advertisements are much more distasteful.

It is also interesting that these are considered 'non-offensive' by the MTRC. After all, why else would the corporation allow them to be posted in the stations? This brings to mind a time when I was listening to a certain female radio DJ commenting on how 'disgusting' Kate Winslet looked at the Golden Globe Awards, and how 'fat' she was in the film Titanic.

At the time I was completely shocked that a public personality could make such a comment.

In 1912 society, the year in which the film is set, it was regarded as perfectly acceptable to be voluptuous and womanly.

I do not purport to be a feminist, but so much for equal opportunities, when symbols representing concepts of self-confidence, pride and a love of life are frowned upon and seen as 'offensive', particularly by major corporations which by their very nature play a role in the shaping of society's perceptions and norms.

The time is indeed right to start a debate about the effect the 'beauty' industry (and other shaping forces) is having on women's health and well-being.