'Sun-Maid Girl' Makeover Sparks Controversy

mscriv

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In the annals of advertising imagery, few brand symbols are more iconic and recognizable than the Sun-Maid raisin girl.

Nevertheless, Sun-Maid recently decided to join Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth's in giving the female face of their product a substantial makeover from a young, early 20th-century girl into a buxom, modern young woman, leading some to say that the newly made-over raisin girl looks like a Barbie Doll in Amish attire

Since 1915, the face of Sun-Maid has been Lorraine Collett Petersen, who, according to the company's website , "was discovered drying her black hair curls in the sunny backyard of her parents' home in Fresno, California." Petersen was then asked to pose for a watercolor painting holding a basket of grapes while wearing a sunbonnet. In the years since, the company has tweaked its trademark design occasionally to keep up with the times, but every variation has always been based on the original pose by Petersen. The new computer-animated version of the Sun-Maid girl currently featured in television advertisements is a departure from the classic design that harkened back to a time when "life was much simpler, more rural, a lot less hectic."
From this
To this
Naturally, the revamped look hasn't gone unnoticed, rankling both ends of the political spectrum. The blog for conservative magazine The Weekly Standard noted that the new Sun-Maid girl looks "as if Julia Roberts decided to don a red bonnet and start picking grapes," while the feminist website Jezebel.com remarked that it looks as if she's had “some implants.”

Though the new look for the raisin girl has been garnering attention of late, the changes to the 90-year-old icon were actually introduced three years ago. At the time, Sun-Maid president Barry Kriebel said that the decision to make changes was inspired by the desire to educate consumers about healthy living choices.
It never ceases to amaze what people complain about. Seriously, this is a controversy! :confused:
 

mscriv

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Sorry, forgot to add the original link in my post. Good find on the commercial. I really do think this is silly. Marketing changes over time and it's not like they really made any drastic changes here.
 
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Unspoken Demise

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God, its so hard to type with the Sun-Maid's melons all in my face!

Back in the day, controversy used to mean something...

 
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localoid

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"The classic design that harkened back to a time when 'life was much simpler, more rural, a lot less hectic.'"
Actually, the original design harkens back to the time when there were no child labor laws and it was commonplace to find children as young as 12 working in vineyards, orchards, factories, coal mines, etc.
 
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chrono1081

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I dont like the new sunmaid raisin girl cause she says the word "sunshine" and I don't like the word sunshine.

The old sunmaid raisin girl didnt speak.
 
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mscriv

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My mouth is watering, but I'm not sure if it's from the grapes or from the melons. j/k
God, its so hard to type with the Sun-Maid's melons all in my face!
Whoa now, easy boys, simmer down a bit! Let's not get the juices flowing. (pun definitely intended) :D

Actually, the original design harkens back to the time when there were no child labor laws and it was commonplace to find children as young as 12 working in vineyards, orchards, factories, coal mines, etc.
#@%* Thanks localoid, this little story definitely belongs in the PRSI because it's obvious Sun-Maid is trying to make a political statement about child labor laws. Sheesh... :rolleyes:
 
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11800506

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I don't understand how this just now is controversial - as they said, I've seen these commercials for literally 3 years already, and she's really creepy in them.

My problem with the new sun-maid girl is she looks essentially like a poorly animated brunette barbie and is downright creepy in the commercial.
 
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localoid

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#@%* Thanks localoid, this little story definitely belongs in the PRSI because it's obvious Sun-Maid is trying to make a political statement about child labor laws. Sheesh... :rolleyes:
Relax... I'm simply saying that Sun-Maid would have the public believe the original circa 1915 image reflects a "simpler time" but in fact it reflects a time when much of the agricultural work in this country was performed by children toiling in the fields, thus their use of an image of a girl that looks to be about 14 (although the actual model was older, but still in high school). Nothing "PRSI" about that -- it's simply fact. Probably few people gave the subject much thought in 1915, since child labor was then commonplace in most industries in the U.S. (again, that's simply fact, not "PRSI").

Of course the new and improved Sun-Maid "girl" doesn't look like she's 14 years old, and the older and more mature "girl" used in the new ads looks less like a young girl and more like she's in the 19+ age group. The new "girl" does have (gasp!) more developed breasts than the original, but personally, I've never been very concerned about (or turned on by) the cup size of imaginary cartoon characters.
 
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Doctor Q

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Actually, the original design harkens back to the time when there were no child labor laws and it was commonplace to find children as young as 12 working in vineyards, orchards, factories, coal mines, etc.
In that case, they should have respected tradition and kept the original Sun-Maid girl to remind us of that happier time when those of us over 12 didn't have to do all the work! ;)
 
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velocityg4

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When I first had seen the commercials it seemed a bit odd but I could really have cared less.

Relax... I'm simply saying that Sun-Maid would have the public believe the original circa 1915 image reflects a "simpler time" but in fact it reflects a time when much of the agricultural work in this country was performed by children toiling in the fields, thus their use of an image of a girl that looks to be about 14 (although the actual model was older, but still in high school). Nothing "PRSI" about that -- it's simply fact. Probably few people gave the subject much thought in 1915, since child labor was then commonplace in most industries in the U.S. (again, that's simply fact, not "PRSI").
Just as it should be. Take the slackers out of high school and toss them in the fields to save some tax payer money. Maybe they would actually care about their education then not just squeak by until they are done and do nothing useful afterward:p.

Before some ticked off person fires off an angry and elaborate response. It's a joke.
 
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Abstract

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Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

I would.
 
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kindablue09

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Ok since nobody seems to be supporting the femisit's argument, I'll bite.

Isn't the Sun Maid girl supposed to be a 12 y/o girl? The new image places her at something between 18 and the freakish Kardashian look. I agree that the update doesn't push her sexuality, but I don't think that was the problem with that in the first place. I think the "controversy" really stems from the fact that America tends to create this unrealistic image of women. Originally the girl was just a cute little girl working in a vineyard, but now she represents some flawless mashup of ideal female characteristics. This whole idea of the media portraying flawless women has really begun to erode at the female self image (and male in more recent years) and should really be addressed because it is coming quite ridiculous.

My favorite shock fact is that they used a body double for Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman b/c her body wasn't in the ideal proportions for the skin scenes (yeah its an old reference, but she still was hot). But the folks here are probably very familiar with the massive amount of photoshopping that goes into magazine covers and ads.

Okay, I tried to be the devil's advocate. I'll actually be upset when the morton salt girl switches to a thong and 4" heels.
 
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Thomas Veil

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I don't think they're trying to portray a sexual ideal. I think they're selling food, and they want her to look like she's grown up healthy.

And believe me, she has. :D
 
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