A new poster at Whole Foods shows a photo of a young girl in a tiny jogging bra and tiny stretchy short-shorts. She's standing in a triumphant pose, flexing her biceps on what appears to be a mountain top. The caption reads "Grow Up Strong and Harmless." Strong everybody understands, but harmless?
People are more than a little confused. It's a hard sentiment to process. Strong and harmless? It's jarring--and why a girl? Harmless has echoes of meek, unassertive, co-dependent--of being like a doormat. Of course, no one wants a child to be harmful--which is the opposite of harmless--so the poster makes sense from that point of view. (Whole Foods likely means don't harm the earth--with pollution, carelessness, etc.) The ad is by ad agency Partners & Spade--you can tell they're cool just by how they flip the name. (The agency is run by Andy Spade, husband of Kate Spade and co-founder of the Kate Spade brand.) By the way, there are 31 executives listed on the Whole Foods Market leadership team page. Seven of them are women.
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