Above is the classic image of Mena Suvari from the movie American Beauty. This and other famous photographs are the ‘inspiration’ behind a new ad campaign for Fit Light, a Brazilian brand of yogurt, as portrayed below:
Personally, I don’t find the photos by themselves to be as outrageous as some others on the net are making them out to be. This is probably because I don’t find so-called “big” women to be automatically unsexy or an affront to my eyes. While overweight is never a healthy position to find yourself in, some women are just naturally big boned just like some men are. And the desire to look like fishsticks on legs is hardly universal. Don’t get me wrong – girls are still growing up with eating disorders but it’s hardly a tragedy to be well endowed in this age of Beyonce.
Neither does the use of female sexuality (or partial nudity for that matter) bother me – especially when it’s done as beautifully as these ads are and when the campaign makes a direct connection between the product (in this case yogurt) and being sexy.
I don’t even find the idea that eating yogurt will make you thin and therefore sexy all that shocking. I guess I should but these ad guys in Brazil were hardly the first to come up with the concept. I distinctly remember this American ad for a brand I can’t remember offhand (I don’t eat yogurt) which was all about a woman who wanted to get into a bikini in the summer and went on a yogurt diet, which was ultimately a resounding success. I don’t think it raised so much as a ripple in the blogosphere.
No, the problem here is the tagline. To wit: Forget about it. Men’s preference will never change. Fit Light Yogurt.
Oh-No-They-Didn’t! Except, of course, they totally did. So that’s one hand in the reverse sexism pie, the other fathoms deep in the insecurity dish. Nice.
Strangely though, most of the noise seems to be coming from the American side. Brazilians, as seen by the comments here, seem to be largely taken by surprise. I guess that’s only fitting given the amount of time devoted to gaining a positive body image in America.
The buzz, negative or positive, is something dear to any ad agency’s itty bitty little heart. Now if only they could make it move a bit more south and into the country where those ads will actually run.
[Source: the excellent AdBlog]