Yes. This. Thank you for articulating exactly what I was feeling when I was too angry to do so myself. This commercial is straight up offensive.
Can we talk about this Slimful commercial and the advertising for one second? Can we also talk about how incredibly angry this commercial makes me every time that I see it?
In a world where thin is the “ideal” body type and various eating disorders have become more prevalent, why would a product ever want to have a tag line claiming “Eating less is a beautiful thing”? And to treat it like it’s a surprise to women everywhere?
This does not take into account the fact that while, yes, portion control is remarkably important to losing weight, the most important part about weight loss is maintaining a balance of vitamins and nutrients through what you eat. You want to have the right amount of protein, a fair amount of the right carbohydrates, even the right types of fat among plenty of others, to make sure that the body works like a well oiled machine. But, more importantly, you’re going to want to make sure that each of those things works with your individual body type.
Weight loss is not an overreaching one-size-fits-all sort of program. People need to incorporate healthy eating with a healthier lifestyle for all of these aspects to truly work. There needs to be a dedication to moving more - through walking, yoga, pilates, running up and down a flight of stairs, tai chi, etc. - because a sedentary lifestyle does not allow the body to burn what it needs to burn.
Yet, I digress. For any number of people - especially those who don’t have a great grasp on nutrition or eating right, but also those who are looking to lose weight quickly, and those who fight with eating disorders - Slimful looks like a perfect opportunity for a meal replacement, or to perpetuate unhealthy eating habits while looking to lose weight. Because, the way Slimful comes across (even though it shows relatively healthy looking food in the commercial), as long as you eat less, you will lose. This does not explain that one must eat healthy food, so theoretically, it could be anything on one’s plate.
I won’t go into major detail, but for those individuals who don’t have a great grasp on nutrition or eating healthier, a large percentage may come from lower socio-economic status, with less of a budget to spend on healthy food. Perhaps they lived in an area where Health class didn’t have a great budget and they sort of mentioned the food pyramid and that was it. Maybe it’s a whole number of reasons. But, in looking at these advertisements, if these individuals are going to see it on TV, they could fall prey to these disordered thoughts about food, health, weight, and eating as a result.
But, I think the things that make me most angry about their marketing are the fact that it’s marketed directly to women, but the product itself is chock filled with terrible ingredients. Women are more likely to have eating disorders than men because of an image of perfection in the media and in every day life. Women are supposed to be thin and beautiful, even if it means eating close to nothing - regardless of what actually is on the plate. Women are supposed to be this impossible ideal and the only positive thing a woman could do is eat less and weigh less.
Between Slimful and the Special K commercial asking “What will you gain when you lose?,” women (and young girls) have advertising negatively impacting their body image. There is this unwritten rule that all women need to diet, to lose weight, no matter what. Such flawed logic does not take into account how weight is not exclusive to fat, and how muscle itself weighs more (a problem in using the BMI system, as well).
Furthermore, weight does not dictate health or beauty or any other aspect of a person’s body other than their density as a result of the direct relationship between the earth and gravity. The weight loss programs, diet fads, and companies (except for a very select few) do not provide opportunities for this education, and come out with marketing such as Slimful, and it’s all catered right to women.
As I mentioned, it’s filled with terrible ingredients. How are things like corn sugar, maltodextrin, and sugar supposed to help lose weight? Sugar and corn syrup are the culprits of weight gain more often than not. What Slimful is selling is a glorified candy bar with few natural ingredients and it’s supposed to help you lose weight.
How about no.
How about we educate our children and friends and family about healthy food, healthy living, and delicious food that actually keeps us full for the time that we need it? How about we actually do something in the world that helps us educate everyone about finding affordable but healthy produce that can be made into healthy portions? How about we actually focus on making our nation less of a fad diet nation and actually focus on real nutrition in the long run?