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"Men's preference will never change."

So says the tagline for a Brazilian ad campaign for yogurt... but the interesting thing here is the imagery of this campaign.

The ads depict fat women in iconic photographs: you've got Mena Suvari from American Beauty, Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct, and Marilyn Monroe from Some Like It Hot. But they're all fat.

The tagline, again, is "Forget about it. Men’s preference will never change. Fit Light Yogurt."

If you take the tagline out, the images aren't bad. Kind of cute, in fact, and without any kind of tagline could even be construed as empowering. But with the tagline, it indicates that fat women aren't desirable to men and thus, this is a bad thing.

Sizism and sexism together at last! This one marks high on my offense-o-meter. [via Kate Harding]

Edited to add: image pulled for now due to near-NSFWness; all are still available via the link above.

DSM-V: Make Obesity a Brain Disorder | Michael Moore Hits the Diet Trail

vesta44's picture
vesta44
June 18th, 2007 | Link | Obviously, I can't speak for

Obviously, I can't speak for most men, but for the ones I have met in my lifetime, I think I can safely say that they would find these images quite sexy (after all, they found me sexy and I'm larger than the women in these photos). It's not that some men don't like fat women, or find them sexy at all. In my experience, it's been that a lot of them aren't secure enough to tell their friends to go fly a kite when they get laughed at or teased for preferring a woman of ample proportions. I don't think that men's taste in women has changed, what has changed is society's perception of what is physically attractive and that in turn skews men's perceptions of what they should want, not what they actually want (not in all cases, I'm sure, but in some). After all, look what it's done to women and how we feel about our bodies. It's just another way to keep us striving for that unattainable perfection and get our money into their pockets on false promises. After all, if they could actually deliver that perfection, they would eventually run themselves out of business.

it's all right to be crazy, just don't let it drive ya nuts!

Meowzer June 18th, 2007 | Link | You know, I was considering

You know, I was considering showing my boyfriend these pictures (especially the one above), but I'd be afraid he'd find me dull by comparison. I mean, yow.

But like you (and Kate, and Shakes, and others) said, Paul, that's probably not the anticipated response. This ad is aimed at Brazilian women, and presumably the affluent minority there who can actually afford pubic-hair waxes and plastic surgery and such, the ones who think they're probably "10 pounds overweight" or some other such nonsense.

The majority of Brazilian women, I gather, are too economically impoverished to be in the market for Artificially Sweetened Yogurt Product (ptooey!) and have no chance of ever looking like Sharon Stone or Mena Suvari in their lifetimes regardless. They're not the target market. Kinda like diet-product ads in this country -- you know they're not aimed at the "really fat," they're aimed at the "cosmetically fat," the ones who think they'd get that movie role or promotion or rich husband or whatever if they could just slim down a little. The rest of us can only shake our heads in bewilderment.

Bayareagal June 18th, 2007 | Link | I also disagree with the

I also disagree with the ad--I think the woman in the ad is sexier than Mena Suvari, but that's just me. I also think for men, physical attraction is based more on shape than size, and an hourglass size 14 with long legs would probably be viewed as more attractive than a thick-, short-waisted size 4.

Catay's picture
Catay
June 18th, 2007 | Link | Copied!

It's kind of funny seeing that photo since I spoofed American Beauty on my site many moons ago (http://www.catay.com/weekdetail.asp?WeekID=105 )...and well, that was the photo that got me into an art show in Norway.
And from what I was told, many men did change their minds while seeing it on the museum wall.
So, yeah, I don't buy it. I think given a chance, men are easily swayed from a sexual standpoint.
Now, getting 'em to admit they actually like fat chicks...that's a whole 'nuther subject.

Medea's picture
Medea
June 18th, 2007 | Link | As one of my old roommates

As one of my old roommates is fond of telling me, I live under a pop culture rock. I'd never seen the American Beauty illustration before and assumed the one posted above was the "ideal" until I started in with Google. She's really beautiful! I can't get too upset over this one, mostly because I can't belive most people are going to react to the photos the way the advertisers apparently expected. I have a hard time believing women are going to look at that model and think, "Oh no! She's hideous! I must prevent myself from looking like that!" It also seems sexist enough that it wouldn't get anywhere in the US, but I've been wrong about the consciences of magazines before. Does anybody know what the reaction to these has been in Brazil? I don't know enough about the culture to make even a half-decent guess.

DeeLeigh's picture
DeeLeigh
June 19th, 2007 | Link | She's supposed to be

She's supposed to be unattractive?

It's a heinous idea for an ad campaign, but judging from that picture, I think they shot themselves in the foot.

jportnick's picture
jportnick
June 19th, 2007 | Link | Oh, I forgot. I'm supposed

Oh, I forgot. I'm supposed to eat diet food so I can be thin, and I'm supposed to be thin so I can please men. Give me a freaking break!

I welcome seeing more images of fat women in the media. The American Beauty take off is particularly good. I hope the pictures open many eyes and yogurt sales reflect the intended mean spiritedness of this campaign.

squurp June 19th, 2007 | Link | hmmm.

well, I am offended, and well, turned on. . . .

No really, I couldn't find a link to this company so I could email them some vitriole about sizism, and at the same time thank them for publishing these sexy pics. Makes me glad I married my wife is is beautiful and bountiful. Whoever came up with this ad is an idiot. "men's tastes" or whatever, has changed. Its only in the last 80-90 years that women were expected to be thin. THe Maltese worshipped larger women!

rachelr's picture
rachelr
June 19th, 2007 | Link | The company who produces the

The company who produces the yogurt is called Itambe - http://www.itambe.com.br/cmi/pagina.aspx?1285
The marketing company which created the ads is Salle Chemistri - http://www.salleschemistri.com.br/

Itambre has a contact form at: http://www.itambe.com.br/cmi/pagina.aspx?1285

Viola's picture
Viola
June 19th, 2007 | Link | I'm confused about these

I'm confused about these photos? Are these actual photos of fat women, or are they photoshopped? Because the neck on the woman in the first photo looks weird, like they didn't quite do a good job connecting it to her body, which is a little off-putting. So did they take thinner models, put them in well known poses and then manipulate it to make them look fat?

rebelle June 19th, 2007 | Link | They not only shot

They not only shot themselves in the foot, they blew the foot off. When I saw the images and the tagline, it made me think they were saying the "fat" women shown WERE men's true preference. Then of course, I realized that made no sense for a product called "fit light" and finally "got" what they were saying. Which was:
Lose weight to catch a man! Keep weight off to retain a man! It's your duty!
Good freakin' night! What century IS this???

fatbikerchick's picture
fatbikerchick
June 19th, 2007 | Link | Odd that they chose images

Odd that they chose images outside their own culture. I presume there are Iconic images of Brazilian "superstars", why not use and distort those to keep Brazilian women in line? (and that is obviously what was intended here). I have to agree with the majority opinion here, though; these women are gorgeous!

Jon_B's picture
Jon_B
June 19th, 2007 | Link | WHAT FANTASTIC

WHAT FANTASTIC IDIOCY!!!
This is another reason why my Thin Size Activsm (And Fat Admiration) is a good thing. I'm not going to stand here and let Western Standards of Beauty determine what I prefer.
Brazil- You might be home to some of my favorite Martial Arts, but your fat hatred has to go elsewhere.

prettywendylady's picture
prettywendylady
June 20th, 2007 | Link | Uhm, isn't kind of one of

Uhm, isn't kind of one of the cultural norms for Brazilian women to be a bit larger than normal? So, wouldn't those images be, in fact, the very kind of women that men in Brazil would be looking for?

I to thought the pictures were a step in the right direction when I first read the blog and saw the pictures (Hadn't had my morning coffee yet.) However, when it sank it what was going on I about choked on said morning coffee. This must be a rookie advertising company because, it seems to me, if you wanted to make women run out and buy that yogurt with this kind of a tagline, you would portray these women as "gross and disgustingly fat," not those beauties that they used. I'm kind of wondering if their egos didn't perhaps get the best of them. Ya know? They wanted to create a beautiful ad, which they did, no intending the beauty to be what it was.

P.S. HOLY COW!! If I could look like that mock American Beauty pose, I'll run out right now and buy a stinkin' case of that stuff!!!!!

pckim June 20th, 2007 | Link | I think men are attracted to

I think men are attracted to all types of shapes. I see large women without many curves with loving men all the time. I don't like the ad because it's supposed to scare people into not being fat. More fat hate brazil style.

CoryBetty June 20th, 2007 | Link | The thing that really got me

The thing that really got me was that my first thought on seeing the image was, "That's so similar to my shape. Wow, that girl is really beautiful. Could my shape be considered beautiful?" . Once I got the tagline, I thought, "but they're so wrong!" No matter who is looking at that picture, if they see ugly, they're seeing through some funhouse mirror of self-hatred that I don't want to be a part of. And the day I base my eating habits on my chances to snag a guy, well, just take me out. Fat hatred and sexism all in three phrases is a new nadir, even for advertising.

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