“Forget about it. Men’s preference will never change. Fit light yogurt.”
This ad is wrongfully expressing the ideas that men will not love women unless they are thin, and that women should not be happy with themselves unless they are able to please men.
The quote at the bottom right-hand corner of the ad reads, in Brazilian, “Forget about it. Men’s preference will not change. Fit light yogurt.” This is incredibly degrading to women, and to their body image. It seems to imply a number of horrible myths. One such idea is that men will never love any woman with less than a supermodel appearance, which is a ridiculous notion and an unrealistic expectation for women. The quote also seems to tell women that they should live their lives to please men. This perpetuates the primitive concept of female inferiority, as if women should simply be out to make men happy, rather than make themselves happy.
At first glance, before reading the message at the bottom, this ad seems almost positive, with a slightly larger woman playing Marilyn Monroe, as if telling women to be happy with their bodies. Instead, this image is more out of ridicule and unrealistic expectations. It is attempting to compare women, and men’s standards of them, to the superstar sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. Telling women that they must look like a supermodel in order to win over the approval of others is an unrealistic standard, and the presence of body-shaming in media and advertisement, such as this, is creating generations of women and girls who aren’t comfortable with themselves or with their bodies.
The posture and expression of this woman also sends a crushing message. It appears to be a happy woman, comfortable with herself and her body. The rest of the ad, however, implies that this is not acceptable. It sends the message that this woman shouldn’t be happy with herself because she doesn’t fit ridiculous expectations, and that women should not feel happy unless they are pleasing men with their supermodel appearances. Since this expectation is incredibly difficult to meet, a majority of the women are receiving the message that they should not be happy or comfortable with themselves.
There is another issue that extends beyond this single ad and to the entire ad campaign. None of the three “ideal women” are of color. This is perpetuation of the white ideal. It pushes expectations for women of other ethnicities to impossible. The ad implies that not only must women be of supermodel status in order to be happy and gain the approval of men, but they must also be white.
Even the background of the ad provides a dark image. It is not the same background from Marilyn Monroe’s famous scene in The Seven Year Itch. Instead, it sets a darker tone to the ad, as if directly frowning upon the woman’s happiness and comfort with her body, and leaving her isolated in her opinion of herself. The woman appears to be alone in her joy, as if it is unacceptable and others will not share in it.
Forget about men’s preferences. Be healthy and happy with yourself. Fit light yogurt. The new caption reads “Forget about men’s preferences. Be healthy and happy with yourself. Fit light yogurt.” instead of instructing women to please men and others, it tells them to forget what other people think, and eat healthy because they want to, not because they are forced to by the pressures of society. It markets the product in a positive manner.
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