There’s a new (to me, anyway) Slimfast commercial that uses normal-sized people to promote its product. Some of these people are simply “real-life slim” as opposed to model slim; others are well within their BMI zone for healthy weight, but they just don’t conform to that model ideal of proportions. We’re talking a bit of “extra” tummy or hip – and it’s amazing how fast that jumped out at me.
I am so conditioned to seeing stick women advertise products to me that my first though at this commercial was “That’s not a flattering outfit on her”. It took me a couple of rewinds to realize it wasn’t the outfit; it was her body. And her body was actually very good! It just wasn’t the bone-thin proportions I’m used to. It had a pleasing shape of its own, not the “clothes hanging off a hanger” look that all models must aspire to.
It’s quite humbling to realize how susceptible my animal brain is to that underweight ideal, even though my higher cortical functions have a much more well-adjusted view of the female body.
Am I as safe from negative body image messages as I think?
[Commercial not available online.]