I got to thinking about appearance diversity when seeing some disfigured vegetables on the news last night. Who would have thought the two are related? So, hear (read?) me out. ‘Ugly’ fruit and vegetables – sold at a discounted price. Woolworths is marketing The Odd Bunch – where fruit and vegetables are personified, cute faces convincing consumers that they’re fit for purchase.
No, I’m not offended, nor am I taking myself too seriously, but it made me think about the value of a ‘perfect’ appearance.
“The “ugly” fruit and veg that previously might have ended in the bin will be sold at discount prices in The Odd Bunch campaign launched this week by supermarket giant Woolworths.
At least 25 per cent of fresh produce is estimated to be rejected because of imperfections or cosmetic damage.
Woolworths says it wants to show customers that this food is still delicious and healthy, as well as helping farmers sell more of their crop.”
I know I’m probably overthinking things here but I can’t help think that this translates into ugliness in humans being worth less. Beauty has value, a higher price. And the ‘ugly’ produce, once discarded, is now sold to the public, albeit at a lower price.
Supermodels are paid up to $20,000 per show. The Economist states “Physically attractive women and men earn more than average-looking ones, and very plain people earn less.” And this finding also translates to fruit and vegetables, it seems. Blemish free, perfectly formed carrots are $1.88 a kilo, and The Odd Bunch’s carrots retail at $1.28.
This picture is from a French campaign – Intermarche’s Inglorious Food – aimed at reducing food waste.
It’s a fantastic campaign, with an outcome I believe in. However I can’t help feel that the produce – with human-like appearances, and almost derogatory labels – suggest disfigurement equals grotesqueness, ugliness and failure which literally reduces the produce’s value. I wonder what Changing Faces thinks?
Look at this guy! I’d buy him at regular price – more eggplant for my money! I put the question out on Facebook and got a similar discussion.
But I’m hoping that if people can buy ‘ugly’ produce, they can react more positively to people with visible differences. The catch phrase on Woolworths’ website is “What The Odd Bunch lack in looks they make up for in taste and value”. And so consumers are asked to look past the physical appearance and give the fruit a go. Which is just what I want in humankind!
It’s what’s inside that counts.
Yes, I’m always thinking about this stuff! And again, no, I’m not offended!
Do you buy imperfect produce?
Do you think these fruit and vegetables will have an effect on the perception of human appearance?