The Wieden + Kennedy creative team who gave birth to inspirational advertising for Nike’s womens line in the mid-1990s are back. Janet Champ and Charlotte Moore have written a book and they have a brand new blog in support of said book. Ripe: The Truth About Getting Older and The Beauty of Getting On With Your LIfe picks up where the two left off, on womens’ health and self-image issues, issues related to aging and beauty in particular.
Here’s some commentary from their blog.
When Janet and I started working together, some fifteen years ago, we were in offices four doors apart. Over the next fifteen years, we were separated by different doors, longer halls, and eventually elevators and an ocean.
At first we made ads together. Janet wrote the words and I made the visuals, and we edited each other every step of the way. It was a marriage of sorts, the kind where you finish the other person’s sentences. And we referred to each other as “the other half of the brain.” If one of us had a bad day, the other one was fully responsible for being the entire brain. And all the while we were bound by a mode of communication we simply referred to as Back and Forth, which was, simply, the constant exchange of ideas, feelings, news and creative solutions offered as scribbles on paper or emails from our computers. Back and forth. Back and forth.
In the beginning, all the back and forth was on behalf of our client Nike. Our teeter-tottering discussions about ourselves and the world we lived in became their advertising campaign for women. We were selling athletic shoes, but first and foremost we were creating a small, public forum for talking about women, their bodies, their feelings, their self-images, and self-esteems. This is what interested us. And we probably would have been talking about it all anyway.
Then Champ chimes in.
I have never been beautiful but I’ve always been attractive to men. It must be my personality. And as men have always always told me, they universally like girls who look like ‘they’d enjoy sex’. And I looked like that. And so men were never a problem. And I don’t imagine they would be now.
It’s more about showing not so much skin, as soul. At least in my life. Being ‘attractive’ to my nieces and nephews and having all 11 of them thinking i’m the ‘cool’ aunt is so, lacking a better word, cool. But then again i look at my competition – in my immediate family – and think it’s not a difficult thing to be.
Okay so I’ve meandered. What I’m trying to get at is why I think it matters. And we can’t constantly blame society. It’s women who get the face lifts and the botox and the wonderbras and try to fuck younger men incessantly, as if they contain the fountain of youth and once we’re juiced up we’ll live forever. But even sperm fades doesn’t it. I wish for once ‘age’ wasn’t always combined with wisdom – as if when we’re over 40 at least we’re brilliant with experience. And that youth wasn’t always equated with Lushness.
Welcome back, ladies.