Since classes let out, I have been spending some much needed quality time sleeping, getting back in touch with loved ones, and catching up on my television consumption.  In my moments of T.V. zoning out I have been running across my nemesis, commercials.  Over the years my partner and I have got into the habit of muting commercials so as to avoid the inane chatter, however, the imagery still sneaks through and gets me angry.

skinny-cow

The most recent inanity is a product line called “The Skinny Cow“.   This is a line of ice cream diet products that boast low calories and high flavor all part of a diet product crazed media that makes (mainly) women recall that they should always be on a diet because they are never good enough.

When I saw the mascot for these products, I just about fell over.  It isn’t good enough that the product is called “Skinny Cow” – I’m sure meant to link images of dairy products (that we all know are full of Evil Fat) to weight loss – but their mascot is, in fact, a skinny cow!  Now, to me this seems to epitomize what weight loss culture is all about – skinny, under-weight, unhealthy, emaciated bodies.

“The Skinny Cow” is meant to remind the consumer that skinny is sexy, healthy, acceptable and to not think about what a real skinny cow would look like:

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I am just so sick of the message upon message that tells women they are not good enough until they are a certain clothing size or body image.

As has been mentioned in a previous post, women are the ones who spend much of their time thinking about food for themselves and their families and so commercials are directed at them.  These media representations and messages remind women over and over again that food is some kind of enemy.  These “Skinny Cow” products are framed as if they are a help to women, but what they are really telling people is that regular ice cream is not good for you, but their product is and that is because this product won’t Turn Against You and your forever diet.

Why are women regulated to eating “fake” food, or less food?  I am currently reading Carol Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat where she discusses how in times of scarcity, women (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) are the ones who give up meat and larger food portions to men with whatever is left over going to children.  It seems that women are the ones who sacrifice themselves for any number of dietary causes including the Western Social ideal of “skinniness”.

So I ask you, when are we going to get images of “Healthy Cows”?  And when are we going to be happy with those images?  Is it possible in a media driven society that values zero fat and how might we envision that possibility?

cow

For now, I ask everyone to rethink that guilt reflex that comes from eating the “wrong” food and to feel proud in eating.  Food fuels us, brings us together, celebrates with us, and we experience food.

Now I’m hungry, I’m going to go and experience a sandwich.

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