Skinny Water Shame

To receive the love, attention, success and happiness you want in life you must be thin and beautiful.  There are no exceptions. 

That’s piffle of course but the cultural messaging of thin equals beautiful, successful and happy is pervasive and unavoidable.  It’s in TV drama’s and sitcoms, advertising for cereal, jeans and perfume, (to name just a few) radio commentary, magazine shoots and stories and of course the weight loss industry.  It screams at us in both images and words as well as opinions.  And it can be hard to resist, bounce back from and ignore.

The way to ignite that resistance in not just one person but entire groups, schools, communities and people as a whole is to become truly literate and media and consumer savvy about just what we are being ‘fed’ at any given time.  Once we know what is really going on – the agenda behind the advertising or messaging so to speak – then we can really see something for what it truly is and, if need be, rightly put it in its place.  That’s why from time to time you will see me do a post here at Beautiful You about things like the following product.  I want you to know about it, savvy up, and then shout proudly from the rooftops that you will not have any advertising executive dictate to you what sort of life, love or level of success or happiness you will ever experience.  As if.

Case in point.  The bunch of laughables from Skinny Water who would not only like to try and sell you water under the banner of it having no calories, but impress upon you that if you buy it you will of course become or stay skinny, and because, you know, ‘skinny always gets the attention.’   This sort of product and advertising burns for me at so many different levels with this post at Sociological Images really summing up the grassroots of how I feel:

“Despite paltry efforts to market itself as healthy, Skinny Water is instead perpetrating the cultural message that the best — or only — way to ensure that women get attention is by being skinny.  This of course positions them well to try to push their product on those women who have been pulled into this lie.  In fact, Skinny Water is doing precisely the opposite of what a health-conscious company and product should be doing.  Promoting the idea that those who are skinny deserve attention more than others creates communities that support harmful diet-related behaviors and disordered eating for the goal of a wispy appearance.  Not to mention reinforcing the ever-present undercurrent of bias against the overweight — or even normal weight! — it reinforces the idea that women’s size and appearance is the most important thing about them.”

It’s body shaming messaging and advertising at its absolute worst. 

Our aim is to make you feel so bad about your potentially ‘non-skinny’ body that you will feel compelled to purchase our product because we will not only be able to give you the body that we believe you should have, but the attention and glory filled life you want to go with it.  And no….the fact they are selling water under the banner of it having no calories has not escaped me.  I’m just genuinely not sure what to say about that attempt to bypass the intelligence of consumers who are of course perfectly aware that water, on the whole, already has no calories.  Mind boggling.

I’m incredibly chuffed to report that the best thing possible that could have happened to this ridiculous ad has indeed occured and it has been pulled.  Now my fervent hope is that people boycott the actual product to the point where it is a miserable failure for the shameful way it is trying to make people feel and the negative culture it contributes to and because the best way to drink water (whether you choose to filter it or not) is straight from the tap.

What do you think Beautiful You?  Are we getting smarter on the whole in seeing what’s truly behind some of these advertising campaigns or are they much easier to fall for than I’m hoping they are?  Whatever the case may be – please know this.

You do not need to be skinny, or in fact any determined shape or size to be beautiful, happy and successful. 

If there’s any message that needs to be thrown out with a truckfull of this water – it’s that one.

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