When is it too far?

Excerpts from Funny Little World,

We all know that all ad campaigns are manipulative and a little bit bastardly. We all know to take commercials with a pinch of salt (size varying according to the source and the ad). Despite the laws and rules against false advertising, we all know that ads do not reflect reality […]

The ad ties a woman’s entire worth to her weight, as if a woman would be of no value to society just because she’s got the wrong BMI. As if it is justified for everyone to reject her just because of her weight. The statements “Women… what do they live for?” and “For those you love, and those who love you” in this context suggest that it is a woman’s responsibility to make sure she is slim and sexy for her loved ones… as if they would stop loving her or she would stop being worthy of their love if she weren’t the perfect 36-24-36.

Sure, many of us will be able to see through this and brush it aside. But what of the more vulnerable ones out there, the ones this ad isreally targeting? What about the young girls and women already struggling with self-image and self-esteem issues? What about the new mothers who are just taking that little bit longer to lose their pregnancy weight (especially seeing that the woman in this video is a new mother herself)? What about all the women out there who are already fighting destructive eating disorders? What are they supposed to feel when they see an ad that tramples all over their already fragile senses of self-worth?

But there’s a difference between slight exaggerations and hamming it up, and being outright offensive and irresponsible. […]

This ad is a contributing factor to a whole culture of sexism, superficiality and misogyny thatcauses women to feel like shit about themselves, to develop self-image issues and even eating disorders. Unlike what the ad itself suggests, being overweight doesn’t actually cause the depression – more often than not it’s the judgement and discrimination that causes overweight women to develop depression…

What are your own thoughts about the video? Has it gone too far? Or is the commercial well within the boundaries of creative persuasion? 


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