The pre-Christmas diamond commercials have begun. I listened this evening as a deep-voiced narrator talked about the woman who gave so much to everyone in the family. I looked up at the television to see a woman tossing her hair around, smiling into the camera, and finally gazing down in graceful surprise as self-assured masculine hands fastened a diamond pendant around her neck.
I was honestly surprised to see how beautiful she was. And then disappointed. Here we've got a narrative of a woman who has given freely of herself for the sake of others, and the years and the effort don't show. Yes, of course, it's a TV commercial and the woman on film is a model. But why does this story have to be told visually with an idealized woman, rather than a natural-looking one, with flesh on her neck, or crow's feet, or chubby upper arms? What does love and devotion look like on real people?