WASHINGTON, DCThe Dove Campaign For Real Beauty formally announced Monday its 2008 nominee for president, 28-year-old Julie, a size 10.
"My self-esteemed colleagues, American voters come in all shapes and sizes. When you vote for me, you vote for a celebration of diversity," said Julie, a veterinary assistant from Cedar Rapids, IA, in a ceremony at the Washington Hilton. "My presidency will prove that you don't have to be a size two to build better relations with China. That you don't have to be skinny to lower our skyrocketing trade deficit. All you need is the nonjudgmental support of the American people."
Julie added that, if elected, she would work hard to lower self-interest rates, help the nation focus on its strengths rather than its weaknesses, and mount a swift, body-positive plan to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program.
The announcementwhich coincided with the launch of Dove's new collection of intensive firming lotions, creams, and body washeswas followed by a gala fund-raiser attended by Real Beauty campaign contributors Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, and Ellen DeGeneres. The event culminated with singer Chaka Khan performing "I'm Every Woman," the official campaign anthem.
Julie, who emerged as the front-runner after beating out several naturally beautiful candidates at a caucus in Januaryincluding Stacey, an administrative assistant from La Puente, CA, and Marion, a homemaker and mother of two from Augusta, GAtook several years of Spanish in high school, enjoys riding her bike, and considers french fries her favorite food.
Campaign manager Nanette Villanueva says Julie will run on three initiatives: a heightened emphasis on national emotional security, broadening cultural perceptions of beauty, and cutting long-term capital gains taxes.
"This is a big country, and it takes a real woman to run it," Villanueva said. "Julie loves her curves just the way they are, and that makes her special."
Villanueva added: "She's got thighs, and that's what this campaign is all about."
A recent poll supports Villanueva's remarks, finding more than 85 percent of American women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and over half are dissatisfied with the U.S. economy.
Yet Julie's "Healthy Agenda For America" has received only one key endorsement: from the powerful life-coach union. And so far only a small, vocal minority has come out in support of her candidacy.
"Americans are simply not ready for a plus-size woman president," said political analyst Paul Koskovich. "Even though more than a third of the U.S. population is significantly overweight, she still has very wide hips."
Among her supporters, however, Julie is an inspiration.
"I like a candidate with some meat on her bones," said Baton Rouge, LA, resident Len Crewley. "I could look at those big white panties for four whole years, sure."
Villanueva, meanwhile, did not deny that Julie may need to drop in size to see her poll numbers rise. "Julie would make a confident, self-assured president at any weight," she said. "But we'll look at the numbers after the primaries."