My interest in Special K has been renewed. I loved the cereal as a little kid, mostly because my dad would change the logo to say ‘Special Kate’. But I haven’t been such a fan of their ‘what will you gain when you lose?’ slogans of the last several years. It implies that losing weight, not health, is universally beneficial, since it shows already thin women eating the cereal then weighing themselves. It implies that losing weight solves problems and makes you happy, which I know it does for some women, as it can help with health issues, but I dislike the act of losing weight being glorified.
But I recently saw this commercial, which addresses fat talk. You know, its what we say for and about our bodies. Sometimes we say it in private, as our own bullies, sometimes we say it out loud, as a plea for someone to contradict us, to counteract our internal bullies with a compliment that goes into the deep lake of negative body image without causing even a ripple. Several women I love often put themselves down, until conversations turn into arguments about who hates their bodies more.
That is why I like this ad, it puts it right out in the open in such a way that highlights how destructive and ridiculous this talk is. And it does it without really being drawn into the other problematic body positive fall backs. Like ‘real women have curves’ and the other praise for non-thin body types, while well meaning, still glorifies one ideal at the expense of others. Or the ‘every body is beautiful’ campaigns, like dove, which are well meaning but still promote beauty as a measure of self worth. Kellogs simply addresses the implications of the one part of our thinness and beauty obsessed culture that we can control, our own voices. So while this message is rather ironic when coupled with the weight loss branding, but still, I think its something more women should take to heart.