Warning, the bulk of this blog post (#450!) is likely to make you really, really mad. If you don’t want to be mad today, might I suggest you refer to fluffy kitty picture above. You can read his caption, “haters gonna hate,” and come to the same conclusion without needing to view a smug, stupid video ad from a smug stupid gym. You’ve been warned.
For those of you who are moving on, I was on a site featuring “funny ads” and I came across this gem:
Oh my goodness. He’s “fat” (but not really). His pants button popped off with SUCH FORCE it hit that poor, gorgeous woman in the head and killed her. Which, is like of course perfect, because you know, fat kills.
You see what I did there?
Do you think for one minute that this ad really cares about the fate of fat people? Because I sure don’t. I think this ad is for skinny people. It reminds them that fat people are the “punch line”, are the butt of the joke, are worthy of scorn. It reminds them that fat people are justifiable targets because, you know, health and stuff. It says, go to the gym and get skinny or we’ll target you next. And it will be okay, it won’t be morally reprehensible to target you, because, you know, health and stuff.
We know that shame doesn’t work. Shame does not get fat people to exercise, or eat well, or change their habits in any positive way. Even if fat people could statistically become thin people (which mostly they can’t) fat people wouldn’t do that because of this ad.
But this ad is not about shame. This ad is about fear. “Come join our elite gym so you can remain one of the ones with thin privilege. OMG you don’t want to become one of those icky fat people do you? Ewwww!”
What we know, is that in and of itself, fat doesn’t kill. Overweight people live statistically as long as thin people and obese people who engage in healthy behavior live statistically as long and about as well as thin people who engage in the same behaviors.
What we also know is that fat hatred kills. It kills because of the stress and the prejudice. It kills because fat people are afraid to go to the doctor. It kills because we are misdiagnosed when we get there.
The ad says, fat kills, kill fat. I think it’s not such a stretch to convert this to what is actually meant, “say fat kills, and you’ll kill fat people.” But the ad is okay, because you know, funny.
If you want to exercise, do that. Dance, hop, swing, play, skip and do whatever makes your heart happy! But I for one, don’t plan to give any money to an organization that teaches people how to hate me.
The Fat Chick
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I was tempted to click “Play” on the ad but I decided not to infuriate myself. You’re right about how fat kills through shame. If I had a nickel for every time a doctor told me to lose weight, basically suggesting that it was the magic cure-all for every single medical problem I had, I’d be rich. Fortunately I have a doctor now who isn’t a fat shamer, but not everyone is so lucky. I refuse to go to gyms in general nowadays—I haven’t been to one yet that doesn’t have a pervasive air of “If you don’t already have a low-to-average BMI, you don’t belong here.” So obviously my money doesn’t belong there either.
I know what you mean Madame. It is why I mostly teach at community centers and church fellowship halls these days…
I’m appalled. I was prepared to be slightly bemused…not seeing where it was going until I saw the body. What PR team would even think this was slightly amusing? Why are dead women even a punch line?!
I know Susie. Same old woman-hating, violent crap with yet another justification. Sigh…
Reblogged this on lessfatchick and commented:
Excellent article about fat shaming in marketing…I really do like this blog!
Thanks Ms Geek Media! oxoxoxo TFC
*looks around for knife* Yep, I feel rather stabbity after seeing that ad. Ugh. Really?!? It’s not funny; it’s demeaning; it’s shaming; it accomplishes nothing other than to make a bunch of fat people feel stabbity and/or demeaned and humiliated. That gym group can take their thin privilege and put it…well, we all know where they can put it. Ugh. Just ugh.
Yup I feel your pain lusciouswords. That’s why I make sure there’s a picture of a fluffy kitteh nearby. It’s for teh protection of teh doofuses that really need some stabbin’.