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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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May 14, 2008

Imago Dei

This morning I read a women's news opinion piece about how marketers are woefully behind the curve in reaching today's woman. Marketers still trade on women's anxieties about looking good, being thin as a rail and dressing to please. But, the writer said, women today are the major spenders for new cars, consumer electronics and home improvement as well as for groceries, apparel and kids' things. Her point was that women are not fluffy humans who desire diamonds and slender bodies. Women are CEOs, mothers, empowered humans who are real and savvy. The writer cited the Dove campaign featuring real women (www.campaignforrealbeauty.com ).

I too am tired of marketing not speaking to my real needs. I am fed up with not being taken seriously by marketers. I'm not amused by all the ads telling us we need to go from a size 10 or 12 to a 4 if we really want to be happy. I am tired, as a woman, of female bodies being used to sell everything from beer to ball bearings. As a Christian, I know that I too am created in God's image. Of course, most marketers aren't thinking of the meaning of Imago Dei. They don't even have to understand that theological doctrine, however, to realize that when one half the human race is diminished, so is the other half. It's time they catch up with reality.

I'm part of the ELCA Justice for Women Alliance . The men and women who form this alliance often talk about how men are also diminished when women are put down or are held back from being all God created them to be. We are all created in the image of God (Imago Dei) and all need to be free to become what God intends for each of us. We need to support one another in this venture. We can begin by resisting (and speaking out against) marketing that continues to diminish us all.

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