This past weekend (October 26, 2013) I came across a Lady Foot Locker commercial on YouTube that made me furious.
It’s shocking to me that this is a commercial that our society deems appropriate. This commercial targets adult women who are feeling self conscious about their body. It is interesting watching this commercial and realizing that the thinner woman can be seen as the eating disordered version of the original woman, that first appears on the screen. The thinner woman is pushing herself and, essentially, excessively exercising. The other woman is pointing out what she feels are negative or ugly parts of her body and comparing herself to the thinner woman.
Personally, this commercial was very unappealing and painful to watch. It focuses on making the viewer feel bad about their body and having the viewer use those negative body image thoughts to push the person to buy athletic products, in this case, shoes. The shoes are advertised as having the power to push ones body further and to help a person “improve” their body. Sadly, I don’t think the makers of this commercial truly understand how big of a negative impact they can be having on women. They are telling women that it is not okay to have fat on their bodies and that excessively exercising will help “fix” their bodies.
I hope corporations start to realize how a commercial can negatively impact their viewers. It is time to stop focusing on selling a product by using shame or guilt as the leading impulse for completing a sale.