The Power of Ads ...

**By Adrienne R **

The current issue of Vogue is 798 pages.

If you tried to fly with it, American Airlines would probably charge you an excess baggage fee.

An issue that long is significant for several reasons — especially for refuting anyone who says that haute couture is frivolous or meaningless.

The costs to print and mail a 798-magazine are astounding. An issue that long is only possible because Vogue sold so many ads. It proves that the fashion industry is indeed healthy - and a significant contributor to the economy. I know everyone has a computer, but when’s the last time PC World was 798 pages?

It also proves the buying power of women, at least some of us. (I could never spend the equivalent of three car payments on a single pair of shoes, although one pair of ADORABLE Christian Louboutin slingbacks made me consider selling my body to raise enough cash.)

Moreover, the ads reinforce the grip fashion has on so many of us. When I was 12, I used to cut out particularly beautiful ads from my mother’s fashion magazines, slip them into protective plastic sheets, and store them in a three-ring binder meant for school.

I didn’t just look at the ads. I revered them. They showed me the magnificence of femininity. Lips perfectly made up. Breathtaking gowns. Dreamlike poses. Hair that shimmered.

At 12, the ads held me spellbound.

They still do, even though I don’t have the notebook anymore.

I know some of the models are dangerously underfed, there is lipstick now that makes your lips look laminated, and heel heights are impossibly high. But fashion pushes limits. Fashion challenges the norm. Fashion is endlessly exciting, and the ads are the link between us and the designers who make it that way.

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