Quizno’s has a new product on the market: Flatbread Sammies. I just saw a commercial for them which didn’t make me want to run out and try one. If you want to see it yourself, you can at the Quizno’s website.
For those who don’t want to go there, the commercial stars two women sitting on a park bench. One woman is lithe and tall and model beautiful. She’s eating nothing. The other woman is average looking, short and mildly curvy. She’s eating a Flatbread Sammie. The supermodel woman stares at the other woman and we get to hear her thoughts, which are, to paraphrase, “Look at her, she’s getting so much enjoyment from that sandwich. That should be ME!” and then she flips her hair and stares some more. Finally and abruptly, she says out loud to the sandwich-eating woman, “I hate you.” At this, the sandwich eating woman doesn’t look upset. No, she looks amazed and gets a little wondrous smile on her face as she says, “Really?”
Now, if I thought the only message was that the sandwich looks sooooo fantastic it causes people without one to envy people with one, I wouldn’t have a problem with this commercial. The fact that the non-eater is very slender and supermodel beautiful while the eater is average sized, average looking is where I come to the problem. I think I’d be equally bothered if the roles were reversed, because either send a message that one of the women feels she needs to deprive herself while the other indulges without that pressure.
After all, if someone truly and simply wants a sandwich, there’s a solution: she can go BUY ONE FOR HERSELF. No jealousy or hatred required.
Don’t even get me started on the wondrous, happy reaction the “normal” woman gives at learning a gorgeous woman might have any kind of envy for her.
Maybe I’m just on a kick where everything even remotely anti-fat gets on my nerves, but the sub-layer this thirty second ad really highlights what I feel is a pretty big problem when it comes to women and their self-images.
(And no, trolls, I didn’t sit down and think about this ad in order to come up with this interpretation. It’s fairly obvious.)