The response (from consumers at least) to this ad, detailed in Mashable’s article here is quite comforting in my eyes.
A petition on Change.Org to remove the ad campaign poses a very thought-provoking and importation question: “The question I would like to pose to whoever gave this advert the go-ahead would be: what is ‘Beach Body Ready’? And who would not be?”
I would love to hear the answer, but it is clear from reading Mashable’s article that Protein World does not see anything wrong with the campaign. I think the girl in the campaign looks great and I am sure there are many who would love to look like her but here is the thing: why do we have to look like her to don a bikini?
I am sick of companies manipulating our emotions and praying on our insecurities as a way to make a profit. Advertisements, such as the one above, re-enforce this idea that to be attractive or to feel confident or be sexy you have to look a certain way. I would love to see companies try harder to really push the envelope when it comes to marketing. Again and again we see advertisements which highlight only one side of beauty but whenever I walk around the city I see all different types of beauty: from beautiful dark skinned women who tower over men with their long legs, to pint sized women with glittering green eyes and red hair who can give the letter S a run for its money. But where is this array of beauty in Fitness advertisement?
Why not instead photograph a girl at the gym, drinking a protein shake with the slogan “Boost your PR. Burn the boys.” and then in the corner it can read “Protein World’s Weight Loss Collection: Made With Your Goals In Mind.” It does not beat you over the head with your insecurities. Instead, it nudges you to go be a bad ass. It is empowering and I would love to see more companies within the Fitness industry try to empower consumers, rather than shame them.
We need to start showing what real people getting fit and losing weight look like. Not all people who are “beach ready” look like this woman, and THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY! Being “beach ready,” losing weight and getting fit should be about confidence! It should be about owning and loving your skin whether you are a thick 135lbs (raise the roof, amen jesus! Yes I am!) or a skinny 170lbs. If you have a tummy, no tummy, if you have stretch marks, or no stretch marks, if you have a booty or no booty, if you have abs or no abs, if you have large boobies and a small bottom, jesus look: I don’t care what you look like! If you feel beach ready then go out and do the damn thing!
Please, let’s not allow narrow minded companies to pull our strings.