Coloured in a candy floss pink, this billboard and even their Twitter page have only female models “sucking” their lollipops meant for weight loss. Wonder what is more agitating? A brand that body shames us and provides us “solutions” for our weight issues or that a company is piling body shaming exclusively on women?
Recently, a Twitter user pointed out how Flat Tummy Co’s biased billboards on Times Square is solely targeted at women and body shamed them. While the company has already been facing backlash for its body shaming agenda, it now appears as it is making ads singularly to body sham women.
While both men and women must not be body shamed, why do we all stand as meek spectators when brands further push stereotypical thinking on us? Why is it that we are okay with a sexist brand telling us women that we must put our well-being at bay and consume a risqué product like the Flat Tummy lollipop, all in the name of being shapely?
Just like every other aspect of our lives, women face the burden of bias in body shaming more than men.
Most beauty and slimming products, target women, because it is a cultural thing to shame women for beauty. We encounter such vicious criticism for our appearance on an everyday basis. It has beaten down our self-respect as a gender to such low levels, that body shaming now feels natural. What’s more, women themselves think that obsessing over their appearance is an essential trait of womanhood.
- Women are more prone to body shaming than men in our society.
- The society has been long telling us that to be considered successful in life, is to be beautiful and shapely.
- Women themselves need to make an effort to break out of this susceptibility to shaming.
- Our bodies are beautiful. Period.
Which means we end up shaming each other for our appearance, more than men do. The society seems to have brainwashed us into thinking that looking “good” is every woman’s prime duty. And by the good, it means the endless beauty standards like flawless fair skin, a curvaceous but slim figure, shapely body parts and face which is immune to all signs of ageing.
You may be a talented artist or a ground-breaking innovator, but your achievements mean a squat unless you have looks to match them.
What I am saying is, Flat Tummy as a brand itself needs to go because it promotes thinness over health. It doesn’t want women to be fit, but forever unhealthy both mentally and physically by feeling deeply unsatisfied with their looks. But it descends down the pit of wrongness further as it targets a specific gender.
The sad part is that such a venture has so many patrons, mostly women, who have been engulfed by the false need to validate their social relevance with their bodies. Unless women themselves reject this cultural appropriation that all women must be slim and flawless to be considered beautiful, ventures like Flat Tummy Co. will keep flourishing. They will suck on our low self-esteems and sell health hazards in name of slimming. Women must break out of this stereotyping of their bodies. That is the only way sexist ads like this wouldn’t rub our faces into a pile of shame from a giant billboard so shamelessly.
Picture Credit: Samuel Zeller, Unsplash
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.