Sunday, January 29, 2012
Because when it comes to women, Progresso believes Less is More
Most of the ads I comment on don't actually make me angry. I point them out because I find them stupid, boring, cloying, dimwitted, or insulting.
This commercial makes me angry, because I don't find it to be any of those things. Instead, I think it's manipulative, disgusting, retrograde, and so blatantly sexist that it leaves me wondering if we've made any progress (no pun intended) at all in the past several decades.
It's been fifty years since we first started to use Barbie dolls to brainwash little girls into believing that to be attractive, they had to be six feet tall, with wasp-thin hips and enormous breasts. Disney Studios has been an active, eager contributor to the damage, bringing us Ariel, Belle, Pocahantas, Snow White, etc.- none of whom seem in possession of internal organs. And of course NutraSystem rakes in billions by explaining to perfectly healthy women that they aren't really "attractive" unless they are devoid of body fat of any kind.
And don't get me started on the stick figures wrapped in strings which regularly grace the Sports Illustrated "Swimsuit" Edition (like anyone would actually swim in those things. Come on.)
"THEY FIT"! yells the woman into her tin can phone. The guy on the other end doesn't get it- after all, guys don't worry about their weight, and why should they- I've seen enough sitcoms to know that beautiful women are just naturally attracted to fat guys. Guys NEVER think about stuff like the BMI index, let alone trying to conform to some artificial standard of beauty- because for men, there simply isn't one. That's girl stuff.
"Um, is there a woman I can talk to?" Because only another woman, who has been taught all of her life that only by becoming smaller can she be at all desirable, and therefore of Value, could understand her new-found joy.
This is really sick, Progresso. Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes. This "there's less of me, so I'm better" crap has been jammed into American women long enough. How about promoting health, which has nothing to do with promoting thinness? How about NOT contributing to poor self-esteem, Bulimia, depression, and other damage caused by the relentless "Fat=Ugly" message? How about recognizing that there are more important things than your quarterly earnings report?
How about being part of the solution, instead of being just another part of the problem?