Wednesday, January 4, 2012

National Dieting Month Commercials

Welcome to National Dieting Month. Following Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas it only seems natural: lots of fun food exposure leaving us vulnerable to dieting messages. Those diet companies sure are sneaky. And successful. In making money not promoting health.

The commercials try to stretch body image boundaries while covering it with comedy or fake feel good messages. The underlying message is often one of distrusting our bodies, weight loss brings everything good, and shame on our fat selves.

Case in point, this Crystal Light commercial:

My interpretation of the underlying message: we women need to constantly deprive ourselves to be sure we are good enough for a man to find us attractive. Because without this deprivation, there is no other way to be attractive. Nice. 

What message did you get? Would love to hear them in comments.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I totally got the opposite message--that it's a funny commercial about being ready for anything, not about whether a man finds you attractive. Note that the man in the commercial doesn't choose which of the two women he wants to help him. The Crystal Light drinker just feels enough confidence to volunteer.

Julie Duffy Dillon said...

Thanks for the message. Whereas I appreciate the comedic message to promote spontaneity, what I don't appreciate is relating calorie deprivation/dieting/weight loss to give someone that confidence to do things on a whim. Body shape in the long run cannot make a person FEEL that way.

Mary Hartley RD said...

Hi Julie,
More drivel! America is so, so shallow that, I swear, I'm about the join the Peace Corps! Anyway, I agree with you 100%. See my blog, Keep up the good work.
Mary Hartley, RD

Julie Duffy Dillon said...

Hi Mary! Pursuing the thin ideal can come across as vain to me as well and a problem that many people in poorer parts of the world wished they had. After I consider the tremendous weight stigmatization going on in our country where people automatically assume a large person is lazy, stupid, mean, etc then it makes sense that so many will do ANYTHING to prevent this. If only they knew calorie reducing diets only promote weight gain in the end. Love your website btw and great to connect with you!

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