Move over, Barbie. Here comes Ruby.
In an advertising campaign new to this country, the British-based Body Shop introduces its version of a fashion doll, one it thinks customers may more readily identify with. Portrayed in broadcast ads and on posters displayed in Body Shop stores, Ruby, if she were clothed, would require a size 18 instead of the skimpy size 2 fashions of the anorexic designer dolls.
The message from the company, which sells creams, soaps and lotions, is that most women don't look like supermodels. And, says the Body Shop, it's not trying to fool you that its products will turn you into one.
The red-headed, green-eyed doll with an attitude is a startling reality check. A glamour puss with a plump body, she is posed in her natural ample beauty reclining on a green velvet sofa. Her expression tells you she is satisfied with her image; the implied message is that it's OK for real women similarly endowed to feel comfortable with theirs.
Rudy also is cosmopolitan, having made her debut in 47 countries before America.
The company hopes she'll become more than just another poster girl. Already it's marketing postcards, stickers and refrigerator magnets bearing her image.
Four journalists will look at how women are portrayed in the media at an Oct. 30 program in Rochester. The third annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton/Susan B. Anthony Conversations on Contemporary Issues, sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony University Center of University of Rochester, focuses on how media attitudes shape opinions and perceptions of women.
Beginning at 8 p.m. in Memorial Art Gallery, the conversations will be preceded by a talk by Marlene Sanders of New York University's department of journalism, the first woman to anchor a network newscast and first to be a news vice president at ABC.
Participants will be Laura Flanders, director of the Women's Desk at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watch group, and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host; Christine Granados, editor of Moderna, a Latina magazine, and Rachel Jones of the Knight-Ridder News Service's Washington bureau, who will be moderator.
The Susan B. Anthony University Center Valued Colleague Award will go to the late Nancy Woodhull, former executive director of the Media Studies Center of the Freedom Forum and a founding editor of USA Today. The 5:15 p.m. ceremony in the gallery precedes a dinner. Call 275-8799.
Domestic violence is the focus of at least three public forums and a prayer service in the next two weeks, and a 5K run Sunday in Delaware Park is intended to attract more attention to the subject.
The effect of domestic violence on the workplace will be explored in one of two YWCA workshops Wednesday, and violence as a public health issue will be the topic of a seminar Oct. 27 in the Center for Tomorrow on the University at Buffalo North Campus. The second YW program will be held at the YWCA of the Tonawandas on Thursday.
Wednesday's program at 7:30 a.m. in the Pfeiffer Theatre will feature a drama presented by Theatre for Change and a panel discussion.
The Oct. 27 forum, organized by State Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, will include a talk by Ellen Tully, deputy director of the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, along with Attorney General Dennis Vacco; Republican Sens. Kemp Hannon of Nassau County, Dale Volker of Depew and George Maziarz of North Tonawanda; John Johnson, commissioner of the state's Office of Children and Family Services, and Dr. Kenneth C. Spitalny, director of the Center for Community Health of the state health department. Sen. Rath's office is taking reservations.
The Catholic Diocese's Domestic Violence Awareness Task Force is a sponsor of the prayer service on Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. in St. Joseph Cathedral. It's open to people of all faiths "who wish to pray for, support and encourage those who are now suffering or have suffered from domestic violence." A coffee will be held after the service.
Sunday's run at 11 a.m. is sponsored by the University at Buffalo chapter of the American Medical Students Association, which also is collecting personal items for residents of Haven House, a shelter for victims of family violence.
The Institute for Civil Society, Boston, and the Inter-American Development Bank will measure the economic as well as social costs of domestic violence in the United States and Latin America at a conference opening Monday in New York City.