Because nobody wants to be friends with an asshole

18th February 2010

Because nobody wants to be friends with an asshole

by Rachel

Journalist Kate Baily wonders why more women don’t come out and tell their fat friends that they look like Shamu and need to speed dial Jenny Craig.  In an article in The Daily Express, she cites a recent study of 3,000 women in which one in five revealed she secretly thinks her best friend is fat but would never dare say so.  Baily writes:

So it seems we can’t even rely on our best friends to tell us when it’s time to quit the cupcakes.

Am I the only one who thinks that’s a crying shame? Whenever I watch TV diet programmes I am amazed that nobody has actually sat down with morbidly obese Jenny and had a word with her.

In that same un-cited study, Baily notes that one in four women “plucked up the courage” to tell a friend she should lose some of her fat ass — thus demonstrating nothing more than 25 percent of women are friends with a jerk — and of the friends in question, 12 percent “went mental” and one in five ended the relationship.  Baily wonders:

Isn’t that just a little, well, neurotic for grown-up women with jobs and families?  Shouldn’t we just be able to come right out and say, ‘You look like a badly trussed chicken in those jeans – go on a diet immediately’?

Right.  I’m willing to bet that Kate Baily doesn’t have all that many friends.

So, why don’t more women point out their gal pals’ flab? Uh, duh.  It’s because A: friends don’t police their friends’ weight or food choices and make them feel bad about themselves; B: your friend is a big girl (no pun intended) and can make her own decisions about what’s best for her and her health; and C: most fat people already know they’re fat, and therefore don’t need nor necessarily want their “friends” to hammer that point home or to offer up unsolicited weight-loss advice.  And should your fat friend ever want that advice, it’s not as if women’s magazines, television commercials, news outlets and even the White House aren’t already mass-churning out weight-loss tips and diet plans complete with fatalist warnings on how you and your fat ass are at risk for any number of so-called obesity-related diseases and are Public Enemy No. 1 to both the environment and national security.

And if it’s a case of emotional/compulsive overeating, binge eating or other eating disordered behaviors, focusing on a friend’s weight isn’t all that constructive or healthy.  Anyone who’s struggled with an eating disorder will tell you that it’s not about the weight — it’s about emotional issues, psychological and/or physical trauma, a need for power or control, etc… — and that weight is but a symptom of much larger issues at-hand.  Telling a friend with disordered eating issues that they “need to go on a diet immediately” is not only counterproductive in that it puts the focus on the symptom and not the cause, it’s also downright rude, callous and virtually irrelevant.  It’s a little like telling your unemployed friend who’s on public assistance that their clothes are shabby and unfashionable and that they need to go on a Saks shopping spree immediately.   As well, Kate Baily suffers from the culturally-driven delusion that not only is fat always unattractive, but that it’s always unhealthy — not to mention, that it’s always malleable.  When I was actively eating disordered, I received copious compliments about my weight loss that only spurred a disorder that damn near killed me.  Now that I’ve regained some of the weight I’ve lost, I’m much healthier and happier for it — something a true friend would already know.

A few of my more health-conscious friends and I discuss healthy foods and recipes and fitness and so forth, but weight rarely factors into these conversations because not only is it not all that high on our priority list, it’s also vapid and boring.  As part of my own commitment to recovery, which includes taking the pledge to end fat talk,  I actively seek to surround myself with people who respect me enough to not  infantilize me by asking if I really need that second helping and who have far more interesting things to talk about than their daily carb intake.  You?

posted in Binge Eating Disorder, Body Image, Body Snarking, Diets, ED-NOS, Fat Bias, Rachel | 22 Comments

19th October 2009

Because friends don’t let friends ‘fat talk’

by Rachel

My butt is too big.  I look so fat.  I hate my body.  She’s too fat to be wearing that dress.  You look great — have you lost weight?

Sound familiar?  If you’re a woman, chances are good that you’ve either regularly heard and/or even engaged in such toxic self-loathing otherwise known as fat talk.  Studies have confirmed that women bond over fat talk and the more we partake in it, the more “normal” it becomes — but it doesn’t have to be.  Today’s the first day of Fat Talk Free Week, a public awareness campaign organized by Tri Delta.  Want to start trimming the fat from fat talk?  Here’s some ways how:

Choose one friend or family member and discuss one thing you each like about yourself.

Keep a journal of all the good things your body allows you to do (e.g., sleep well and wake up rested, play tennis, etc.).

Pick one friend to make a pact with to avoid Fat Talk. When you catch your friend talking negatively about their body, remind them of the pact.

Make a pledge to end complaints about your body, such as “I’m so flat-chested” or “I hate my legs.” When you catch yourself doing this, make a correction by saying something positive about that body part, such as, “I’m so glad my legs got me through soccer practice today.”  Sign the “Today I promise to eliminate fat talk” pledge (and Harriet Brown’s I Love My Body pledge).

The next time someone gives you a compliment, rather than objecting (“No, I’m so fat”), practice taking a deep breath and saying “thank you.”

It can be difficult not participating in fat talk — even I catch myself sometimes doing it with a coworker.  Fat talk can feel instinctual, impulsive and sometimes even obligatory, so in the spirit of Joy Nash’s fabulous Staircase Wit, I thought it’d be nice to have a list of snappy comebacks and shut-downs handy.  What are some effective ways to answer responses like these:

My arms are so fat.  I hate my batwings.

Ugh, I need to lose XX pounds.

I can’t eat that — I’m on a diet.

My thighs are ginormous!

Everything I eat goes straight to my hips.

I could never pull that off — I’m too fat.

You look great — have you lost weight?

Please feel free to contribute other forms of fat talk you’ve heard and your suggested responses to them.

posted in Body Image, Body Snarking, Body-Affirming, Fat Bias, Rachel | 27 Comments

16th October 2009

The Digest: F-words making the news

by Rachel

Hard to swallow:  Washington mom Juliet Lee has eaten five pounds of ribs, 43 inches of cheese steak sub, 31 dozen raw oysters, 13 slices of pizza, 13 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 13 date-nut-bread-and-cream-cheese sandwiches — all within minutes.  Oh, yeah… she weighs 100 pounds and wears a size-zero.

Not only are “plus-sizes” considered taboo in high fashion, so too are large breasts. The well-endowed journalist Venetia Thompson delves into the issues supporting the busty bias in this Daily Beast editorial.

Progressive or just prejudiced?  After months of guised jabs at Rep. N.J. gubernatorial challenger Chris Christie’s weight, Democratic State Committee Chairman Joe Cryan blatantly “pounded” the issue home to supporters: “What would it feel like if the next governor weighs 350 pounds?” he asked the crowd.  Meanwhile, Sen. Raymond Lesniak told the New York Magazine that Christie “looks hideous! And unhealthy… That doesn’t portray the discipline that’s necessary to lead this state.”

Fat studies scholar Amy Farrell appeared on Colbert Nation this week to discuss fat-shaming, health at every size and her new book, Fat Shame.

Fox and Burger King apologize for mocking Jessica Simpson’s weight.

Meghan McCain: Still Republican, but I can’t help but like her anyway.  In an editorial for the Daily Beast, McCain responds to the Simpson bashing with a call to stop the fat jokes.  “My weight is the great constant in my life, no matter where I am or what I am doing it is an issue that comes up,” she writes.  “I could probably cure cancer and solve all the Republican Party’s problems, and people would still make fat jokes.”

A new study finds that the simple act of exercise itself can improve body image even if you don’t lose an iota of a pound.

D’oh!  The British government is spending more than a million U.S. dollars recreating a “healthier” version of The Simpsons in an effort it says to reduce the two-dimensional “obesity epidemic.”  The campaign, which began last Monday and will run through Christmas, replaces Homer’s much-loved beer and doughnuts with fruits and vegetables and ditches the image of the family sitting on the sofa at the beginning of each episode (the fact that families need to be slumped on the sofa to even view the campaign is overlooked).  No word on how Mr. Burns, the thin-as-a-rake, delicately fragile food minimalist, will be portrayed.

For more news that didn’t make the blog, follow us on Twitter.

posted in Advertisements, Body Snarking, Book Reviews, Fat Bias, Feminist Topics, Fitness/Exercise, Health, Nutrition & Fitness, Politics, Pop Culture, Rachel, Television & Film | 10 Comments

8th October 2009

N.J. Gov. Corzine breaks out the lard card

by Rachel

John Corzine - Chris Christie

I got an email a couple weeks ago from New York Times reporter David Halbfinger looking to do a story on the weighty political race raging between New Jersey Gov. John Corzine and Republican challenger Christopher Christie.  Because I am a journalist myself, I seldom speak on the record anymore, but I did talk with David for a good half-hour to help provide him with some context and other similar examples (the most recent of which are the fat-attacks on Surgeon General-elect Regina Benjamin and SCOTUS nominee Sandra Sotomayor).  The Times printed his story yesterday and I’m glad to see that it not only seems critical of Corzine’s jabs at Christie’s weight, but also failed to mention the Big Bad Obesity Epidemic or question Christie’s physical ability to assume office.

The story, in a nutshell, is this: Corzine, a Democrat, maintains a 40 percent approval rating in a blue state.  These numbers, combined with the state’s high tax rate, stifling property taxes and record high unemployment promised a climate ripe for a GOP takeover.  The race turned ugly long ago, but now Corvine is calling attention to Christie’s weight in not-so-subtle ways.  A television ad for Corvine shows Christie stepping out of an S.U.V. in extreme slow motion so that his extra girth also moves, just as slowly, while a narrator snidely intones that Christie “threw his weight around” to avoid getting traffic tickets.  Other commercials and online videos (deliberately?) feature unattractive images of Christie, sometimes shot from the side or backside, highlighting his corpulence, jowls and double chin.  Meanwhile Corzine has been conspicuously running in 5- and 10-kilometer races almost every weekend, as Halbfinger suggests, “underscoring his athleticism and readiness for the physical demands of another term — and raising doubts about Mr. Christie’s.”

Corvine denies the fat-baiting, but even his fellow cronies are now questioning the effectiveness of playing the fat card.

“There’s no subtlety there,” said Bill Baroni, a Republican state senator from Hamilton who lost 130 pounds starting 15 years ago. “That’s not a randomly chosen phrase. It’s purposeful. And it’s offensive.”

Mr. Baroni said that Mr. Corzine risked a backlash from the “tens of thousands” of New Jerseyans who struggle with their weight. “It is a lifetime battle,” he said. “And it’s made harder when people that you expect better from make fun of you.”

Christie is brushing off the jabs as “silly,” but as Halbfinger notes, there are signs that they may be working among voters in one of the leanest states in the union.  In a recent survey conducted by Monmouth University, voters were asked to say the first thing to came to mind about Christie.  “Fat” was a frequent response, said poll director Patrick Murray, who attributed the results to the Corvine ads.   Murry said that he believed that the ads were intended to convey a “sublimial message” that Christie is reckless with his health, and ergo, might be reckless in other ways.

(Not mentioned in the Times’ story is the near visceral degree of fat hatred harbored by many a voter who don’t care a fig about health.  A now removed Craig’s List posting titled “Why I Will NOT Vote for Chris Christie” vehemently opines:  “More money expended by us taxpayers because he is fat! I just don’t like fat people and Chris Christie is fat! ….hide the M&M’s.”  Comments on Daily Kos range from “What a fat piece of garbage,” to “I can’t stand fat azz pompus arrogant pieces of shet like this guy.”   Over at CNN’s Political Ticker, you can find such gems as “Look at that fat Republican. The overfed look should be enough to dissuade voters. Greedy Pig…,” and “Chris Christie a criminal, fat pig.”)

The ads also seem to be taking their toll on Christie himself, a yo-yo dieter who has long struggled with his size.  Christie said that he’s become “numb” to fat jokes after so long and other than rightly insisting that his size has nothing to do with his being governor, he refuses to discuss his weight, even jokingly.  But while Christie declined to give his exact weight, saying that it’s not “anybody else’s business,” he did mention that he has lost 25 pounds since June by working with a personal trainer three times a week.  As Halbfinger notes, there’s not much else he can say.

Although significantly overweight politicians are increasingly rare these days, especially at the national level, several governors have very publicly tried to shed pounds, often unsuccessfully. Bill Richardson of New Mexico has told of trying the Atkins and liquid diets to little avail. Sonny Perdue of Georgia weighed nearly 230 pounds when he threw away a Snickers bar to start dieting in 2003. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania has lost 48 pounds, but still carries 220 on a 5-foot-11-inch frame.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas famously broke an antique chair during a cabinet meeting before losing 110 pounds, becoming a presidential contender and writing a self-help book, “Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork.”

Short of that kind of success story, fat candidates have few ways of defending against the kind of attack Mr. Corzine is using, political consultants say.  Among them: always wear a jacket, never wear tight-fitting clothes, and never get photographed while eating.

It wasn’t so very long ago that such tactics might have backfired among voters. One of the liveliest presidential feuds occurred between presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. On Election Night in 1904, Roosevelt announced that he would not run for office again in 1908 and  virtually appointed his close friend and Secretary of War – William Howard Taft – as his successor. With Roosevelt’s support, Taft won by a landslide, but whereas the blustering Roosevelt had taken on the conservatives, the milder-mannered Taft instead chose the art of compromise. By the end of his term, Roosevelt had become convinced that Taft had betrayed the progressive principles he held so dear, and so decided to run against Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912.

A bitter feud developed between the once close friends, with Roosevelt calling Taft, among other things, a “Fathead.” The insults between them were so bitter that it was reported that Taft once broke out in tears after delivering a stinging attack on his opponent. Taft, as we’re so often taught in high school American history, infamously battled a weight problem since early childhood (ironically, he lost nearly 140 pounds after he left office). Roosevelt’s jab at his weight was only one of many slights he hurled at Taft and vice versa, but in the end, the bickering cost both men the election.  The feud split the Republication party and allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to defeat them both.

I don’t know much about the backgrounds of either Corzine or Christi, but from what I’ve briefly gleaned online, it seems that there is much in the way of Christie’s political record and positions that Corzine could attack instead of childishly insinuating that he’s a Super McFatty Fat Cat.  While my politics tend to veer left, I think that it’s the mark of a very desperate man who seeks to discredit his opponent not on the basis of his merits or lack thereof, but by his appearance.  Would we be so forgiving of this sort of fat-baiting if Christie came out with a campaign that suggests that Corzine “looks like a Jew”?

posted in Body Snarking, Fat Bias, Fat History, Politics, Rachel | 18 Comments

23rd September 2009

“Breyer’s, Sam Adams and self-abuse: Thanks, Anthem”

by Rachel

My googlefu has failed to produce Anthem’s new bit of video propaganda for all to see, but luckily my good friend Ryan and one of his Facebook friends sum it up beautifully (this came up in a discussion on Miracle Whip’s cheesy new “Don’t Be So Mayo” hipster-appeal ads).

Greg: OMG. have you seen the best one ever? it’s the anthem insurance commercial about your “health footprint.” there are people in a grocery checkout line, and this lady is buying a ton of lettuce. then this fat queen squeaks up behind her with ice cream and a six pack. after surveying her purchases, he decides he’s gonna throw in the fitness (aka muscle porn) magazine. supposedly, she’s influencing him to begin working out, but you and i know what’s really going on: breyer’s, sam adams, and self-abuse. thanks anthem.

Ryan: Christ, I HAVE seen that. That queen is going to suck down that Breyer’s as fast as any hipster can scoff at an organic cotton Miracle Whip tee from American Apparel… discussing all the while which torch song by Dusty Springfield best describes their personality.

BTW… I calculated my Health Footprint on Anthem’s website and averaged nearly 10,000 and the accolade of “Fantastic.  You are an inspiration to others.”

posted in Advertisements, Body Snarking, Fat Bias | 16 Comments

16th September 2009

100% sexist

by Rachel

It seems that Coopers Premium Light beer is in competition with Bacardi to see which company can produce the most offensive ads to women.  An all-male creative team (naturally) at a Singapore ad agency created these three images for the Australian-based brewery.  The message is that, because the beer is only 2.9 percent alcohol, men will have less of a “beer goggles” problem and won’t hook up with ugly women.

Cooper beer goggles

Cooper beer goggles

Cooper beer goggles

According to copyranter, these ads won a bronze medal in the Press category at the Cannes advertising festival.  Copyranter also notes that:

…you’ll notice that that blond has an engagement ring on her left hand. Also you’ll notice that the freckled-girl is very young. So, I think that my pretty/fatty, chesty/ugly interpretation is not what the agency/advertiser is trying to communicate. They’re trying to say ‘drinking Coopers keeps you from hitting on engaged women or underage girls.’

It’s nice of copyranter to give Coopers the benefit of the doubt, but I think the intended idea behind these ads isn’t so altruistic.  So many people complained about the Bacardi ads that the company promptly responded — albeit with a pathetic and dubious attempt to shift the blame — but the ads were retracted. Let Coopers know just how you feel about their misogynistic advertising attempts by email at or contact the marketing department at their website.

posted in Body Snarking, Fat Bias, Feminist Topics | 18 Comments

10th September 2009

Sexism and sizeism? Not funny, SNL

by Rachel

Casey Wilson Saturday Night Live

I pretty much stopped watching Saturday Night Live after Tina Fey and Amy Poehler left, but now I have an actual reason to tune out. E! Online is reporting that SNL has fired the delightfully fuller-figured Casey Wilson for not losing 30 pounds over the show’s summer hiatus and replaced her with a (yet another) “pretty white chick.” Writes E’s Ted Casablanca:

Casey’s been completely quiet on the matter… Could it be because of the totally bitchy and sexist way in which she was ousted from the sketch show?

Our inside comedy sources tell us SNL producers told the curvy Casey to lose 30 pounds during the show’s summer hiatus. They pretty much demanded it. And whether Wilson just couldn’t drop the weight or she just only wanted to give her middle finger some exercise, she didn’t drop a damn pound. And that’s when she was axed, we’re told.

Casey was pretty much the only female castmember the show’s had in years who wasn’t a size 6 or smaller (a pregnant Amy Poehler notwithstanding). Whereas SNL‘s been famous for highlighting obese men—John Belushi, Chris Farley, Horatio Sanz, Bobby Moynihan, to name a few.

…what’s so friggin’ funny about a perfect-looking woman anyway? Lorne needs to wake up and realize we tune in to SNL to laugh, not get turned on.

In all fairness, Casablanca does mention that Wilson may have been ousted because she’s just not funny enough — she even made a Funny or Die video about people not finding her funny.  But as Casablanca points out, to even suggest that Wilson lose an iota of a pound is “prehistoric” and I heartily agree.  It’s well known that there exists a double standard for fat women in that they have a heavier load to bear than fat men.  Fat characters form the minority in television, but of even these token few, fat male characters are represented almost twice as often as fat female characters and with less stigma.  But the kicker here is that WILSON ISN’T EVEN FAT.  Fat by insane size-double-zero Hollywood standards perhaps, but by no means fat by any medical definition of the word.  Based on her photos — see here, here and here — I would estimate her to wear a U.S. size 10 or 12, at most.

SNL hasn’t been consistently funny in a long time.  I’m not familiar with the new additions (Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad), but basing the comedic talent of your staff on the “would I sleep with her?” scale isn’t the way to gain laughs with this viewer.  So, (assuming the reports are true) here’s a big BOO to you, SNL, and three cheers for the awesome Casey Wilson for standing her ground.

Oh, and if you want some actual feminist laughs, be sure to check out Bitch magazine’s feminist joke contest.

UPDATE: Casey Wilson is now denying reports that she was fired for her weight.

posted in Body Politic, Body Snarking, Fat Bias, Feminist Topics, Pop Culture, Television & Film | 8 Comments

26th August 2009

Peta: People Effecting Terrible Absurdity

by Rachel

The good news: Peta has removed its highly offensive “Save the Whales” billboards. The bad news: They still don’t quite *get* it. Here’s part of Peta’s response to the hordes of complaints they received about the campaign:

The original billboard is being replaced with one that says “GONE. Just Like All the Pounds Lost by People Who Go Vegetarian.” We agree that a world where self-esteem is unrelated to body size would be a wonderful place, but we also know that most people feel depressed and embarrassed about their weight and often need some tough love.

While this billboard has caused some people to “shoot the messenger,” it has also created a great debate about the message: that people are eating themselves to death. Americans now eat more than 1 million animals an hour—animals who are raised and killed in appallingly cruel conditions. Something drastic must be done to shake up society’s complacent acceptance of the national obesity epidemic, and we want people to know that they have options: Pills and procedures are not the solution. The human illnesses and animal suffering that a meat-heavy diet causes are completely unnecessary: a pure vegetarian diet is the optimum diet.

So, according to Peta’s circular “logic,” a world in which people feel good about themselves and their bodies is awesome, but until then we’re going to shame and ridicule them — for their own good, of course!! I actually agree with part of Peta’s second statement above — animals raised for slaughter die a brutal, inhumane death to satisfy our selfish palates with no benefit to health to be gained by the slaughter — but I don’t think that this campaign has created the kind of “message” Peta intended. Instead it just reinforces the stereotype of the angry, self-righteous vegan killjoy and proselytizer who cares more about animals than people, therefore further setting back any progress made by other and more sane animal rights advocates in convincing a meat-loving public that a vegetarian diet is the healthier and more humane choice. If Peta can’t be humane to their fellow humankind, how do they expect to convince anyone to be humane to animals?

Perhaps People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a misnomer for Peta.  How about People Effecting Terrible Absurdity?  Or People Engendering Tawdry Actions?  Anyone have any other clever synonym suggestions?

posted in Body Snarking, Fat Bias, Vegetarianism | 21 Comments

12th August 2009

Cintra Wilson cannot possibly be this dense

by Rachel

Harriet Brown alerted me to this scathing piece by New York Times fashion writer Cintra Wilson on J.C. Penney’s new line of clothes, which includes plus-size and Big & Tall offerings.   Jezebel also called Wilson out on what is truly a mean-spirited, snark-filled critique on fat people.  Some gems from her piece:

It took me a long time to find a size 2 among the racks. There are, however, abundant size 10’s, 12’s and 16’s. I tried two fairly cute items…  Each was around $80; each fit nicely and looked good. I didn’t buy either because I can do better for $80, but if I were a size 18, I’d have rejoiced.

…To this end, it has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. They probably need special insulin-based epoxy injections just to make their limbs stay on. It’s like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of “Roseanne.”

…The petites section features a bounty of items for women nearly as wide as they are tall; the men’s Big & Tall section has shirts that could house two or three Shaquilles…

On her personal blog, Cintra Wilson simply can’t understand why fat –and thin– folks are up in arms about her oh, so hilariously funny sizeist snark.

I feel this article is in keeping with the generally irreverent spirit of Critical Shopper. It is a piece about the store itself and the clothes in it, and how they compare to other clothes in neurotic New York: what is the same/different about them, style-wise. J.C. Penney has had the foresight and genius to realize that plus-sizes are all but completely ignored in Manhattan, and because of this, they are going to make squillions of dollars.

It is actually a positive review, believe it or not.

She does go on to apologize, insisting that she didn’t MEAN to be an condescending snobby, self obsessed bitch (in so many words), but not before making it appear as if it is WE, the offended folk, who are just hyper-sensitive and overly literal:

My writing style is generally pretty scathing, even when I like something. Nothing is sacred in a Critical Shopper — and that’s why you read it.. But it’s not so fun, apparently, if you happen to take something irreverent I say about a mannequin or an inventory personally.”

In the piece, Wilson congratulates J.C. Penney for being so “remarkably smart” as to offer clothing to fit the general populous.  She writes:

This niche has been almost wholly neglected on our snobby, self-obsessed little island. New York boutiques tend to cater to the stress-thin, morbidly workaholic, Pilates-tortured Manhattan ectomorph.  But there are many more body types who vote with their hard-earned dollars…

Guess what? We also buy newspapers. I’ve always liked the Times‘ fashion coverage, but this piece has me considering “voting” with my “hard-earned dollars” on fashion coverage elsewhere.  Let’s all go enlighten Wilson on why it is her “positive review” is so very unprofessional, unclassy and uncalled for.

UPDATE: It looks like Cintra Wilson can dish it out, but she can’t take it.  She has now removed her “fauxpology” from her blog after receiving dozens of comments calling her out.  Instead, she thinks that this is all just “ridiculous” and that we should all just “remove the knot from [our] panties.”  Stay classy, Cintra.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Wilson has now posted what appears to be a sincere apology, which I, at least, accept although I doubt that it’s heartfelt. Of course, the true test of her sincerity will be when she edits the original piece to revise/remove the offending material.

posted in Arts and Music, Body Snarking, Fashion, Fat Bias | 34 Comments

20th June 2009

Want to look hot this summer? Bacardi suggests getting an “ugly girlfriend”

by Rachel

I’m a teetotaler for various reasons* — at 30, I’ve never even been drunk if you can believe that — but even if I were the most raging of party girls, Bacardi’s new “Get an ugly girlfriend” ad campaign wouldn’t convince me to buy its line of fruity Breezers.

Remember the discussion the other day on how the beauty beast pits women against each other?  This is a prime example.  The campaign suggests that women — that is, attractive women — accessorize themselves with an “ugly girlfriend” in order to make themselves look better at the mall, the beach and other social situations.  The four “ugly girlfriends” featured on the campaign’s minisite are equal-opportunity offensive, including fat, thin and disabled women.  Consider taking along the horse-like Wendy, with the “noticeable limp” and “super-active sweat glands” to the next pool party.  Or take a beach stroll with Sally, whose “lumpy rolls” will make you “look your best in a bikini, without ever visiting a gym.”  Watching your weight?  Attend a BBQ with Daisy, whose “pimpled shoulders” will make your appetite disappear.  And Lucy, with her “rubbing thighs,” “sticking out jaw,” and “drooping breasts,” is the perfect “freckled pile of cellulite” to take along shopping.  The accompanying images showing clearly Photoshopped and otherwise radiant and blissfully unaware women makes the campaign all that more nauseating.

Bacardi Get an Ugly Girlfriend

Bacardi Get an Ugly Girlfriend

Bacardi Get an Ugly Girlfriend

The ads were produced by Israeli ad agency McCann Digital and launched in Hebrew and English along with a Hebrew-only Facebook page.  Tell Bacardi what you think of their sexist ad campaign hereUpdate: I just tried sending an email via the contact form using Firefox and received an error, but was able to send using Internet Explorer.

Related Links

Jezebel: Bacardi ad uses misogyny to sell alcohol to women

Copyranter: Bacardi says the hottest accessory this summer is an “ugly girlfriend”

* 1) I don’t like the taste of most alcoholic drinks. 2) I’m Buddhist and find alcohol consumption inconsistent with my spiritual beliefs.  3) My husband’s father has a minor alcohol addiction and while he has never been abusive, my husband suffered through many an embarassing public display as a kid, which has turned him off alcohol.  I support him in this through non-consumption.

posted in Body Snarking, Diets, Disabilism, Fat Bias | 53 Comments

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