Thank you, mainstream media advertisements. For failing to do anything but perpetuate stereotypes, that is.
I just saw a commercial for Kellogg’s new “Special K20 Protein Water”. I tried to find a video of it, but YouTube didn’t have it, yet.
Anyway, I’ll try to describe it. This lady stumbles under an awning to get out of the rain. When she looks up there’s a waterfall of shiny, pretty candies falling in front of her eyes – the awning belongs to a candy shop. She looks longingly at the candies (generic hard candies in multicolored transparent wrappers). There’s some voiceover-y stuff, and then she reaches into her purse and pulls out the Protein Water and sips it. The water has, according to the announcer, 5 grams of protein and some other stuff, to help sate your appetite without resorting to candy so you can “take the edge off your hunger while still losing weight” – protein is one of the ingredients in food that helps make you feel full. The lady walks away from the candy store with a happy smile and the sun breaks through the rain clouds.
Bleh. Okay. I dunno about you, but when I’m out for snack food, I’m so totally into potato chips, not candy. Sometimes ramen. ^_^ I can’t remember the last time I really craved candy. So, wev, there.
We’ve got the happy-joy stereotype of fatties chowing down on candy/sugar/naughty food. Stuff those faces! The idea that this lady, who is, of course, pretty and slim, will suddenly balloon up if she has a couple pieces of candy is absurd. I’m not even sure I’m being analytical enough about this because it’s so annoying. I think what bothers me most is how subtle it felt. There’s a commercial for “Lipozene” where they say, straight up, “Body fat is unattractive.” At least they’re not hiding what they think, you know? But this “Special Water” commercial feels so insidious. They couldn’t even admit to their viewers that the woman in the commercial only needs to “maintain.” No, she needs to feel full while still losing weight. Because you can never be skinny enough.
Also, she’s a woman. Only women need to eat Kellogg’s health food, need to worry about losing weight, only women need to lose weight, because remember, your value is directly correlated with how well you get gussied up for teh menz.
Put all your time and effort into controlling your naughty body, your naughty appetite. Put all your effort into making yourself acceptable to men and to the media. Oh, and don’t forget, once you meet your goal, we’ll give you a new carrot to chase. You’ll never be done. You’ll never be beautiful enough, thin enough, sexy-but-pure enough. Devote all your time to placating the voices, so that you can’t get any real work done. We can’t have you changing the world for the better, nope!