ABC, Fox Refuse to Air Lane Bryant Commercial
Apparently, in a startling display of censorship, both Fox and ABC refused to air the advertisement. Lane Bryant’s website-hosted blog, Inside Curve, maintains that the two networks presented unrealistic demands for re-edits and prohibited the ad from running during critical air times, including “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol.” According to Inside Curve, Fox only relented after Lane Bryant threatened to cancel the ad buy completely, and compromised by running the advertisement in the last 10 minutes of the show.
The reason is shocking: both networks insisted that the advertisement contained “too much cleavage.”
Allow that to sink in for a minute. A lingerie company for curvy and plus-sized women, which primarily features full-sized bras, is showing too much cleavage. Versus, say, Frederick’s of Hollywood or Victoria’s Secret, well-known for creating edgy cuts of lingerie that are roughly the equivalent of two postage stamps held together by a single string. In other words, advertisements featuring large–preferably augmented so as not to be too large–breasts are acceptable; naturally large, full-figured breasts are not. More to the point, naturally large, full-figured breasts are obscene, suggesting that the networks have an awfully thin (and hypocritical) threshold for decency.
The article is very good and insightful, with links to blogs and articles commenting on this. For example, this:
“People who shame women for wearing “too-revealing” clothes like to center their objections on women’s clothing “choices,” but make no mistake—this is not about what we choose. This is about the things we don’t choose—having chests or butts or legs or necks or hair or any other part of our human bodies that others decide to project their particular sexual interests—and their slut-shaming—upon. The man who is horrified at a woman’s “overly exposed” breasts will likely never have to worry about wearing one shirt—one shirt out of a lifetime of shirts—that happens to accidentally set off some random person’s slut meter, because of the way his body just is.”
In my opinion, part of this is sexism because it's about power and self-determination; as Roseanne once said, (paraphrasing) "People don't like it when women take up space."