Apparently, if you don't like this ad, you don't like being healthy. Well, bollocks, frankly
I was particularly affronted to be greeted with this monstrosity of an advert on my daily commute this morning. Funny, I thought I was just minding my own business in my usual spot on the London Underground Jubilee line platform. But NOPE, actually I should be PERMANENTLY stressing over whether my body is "beach ready". Duh.
Luckily, I'm not the only one to be affronted. A Change.org petition against the ads has nearly 30,000 signatures already. Sign it here! Also follow the link to see lots of people's reasons for signing, including sexism, promotion of eating disorders, constant bombardment of these sorts of images...
But actually, my problem with it isn't the usual "OMG sexism, skinny women's bodies on show, bikinis, argh" feminist outrage.
From my point of view, it's about promoting one kind of body over all others, and suggesting that one magic protein powder will do that.The response of the company, Protein World, is particularly infuriating.
In the inimitable words of the TimeOut London Now Here This website: "Protein World do not appear to give a shit about any of the criticism. They argue that the the adverts are okay because the model has a healthy BMI. They also say: 'It is a shame that in 2015 there are still a minority who aren't focusing on celebrating those who aspire to be healthier, fitter and stronger.'".
That's suggesting that if you don't like this ad, you don't like being healthy. Well, bollocks, frankly.
Because don't get me wrong. I love being healthy. I even like working out, because of how it makes me feel. I care about my fitness and health, spend time planning my meals and trying to make good choices when I eat and workout, and aspire to a strong, healthy body that looks good.
BUT this ad is promoting ONE type of body - on a rather miserable-looking model, at that - above all others, and making weight loss about looks, and being "beach ready" rather than strength, health and mental positivity, and suggesting that some protein powder rubbish will do that for you. All kinds of wrong.
Body positivity isn't about shaming or being thin - it's about feeling good in your skin. It means different things to different people - for me, it's about being strong and functioning well, as well as being at the best weight for my figure. For others, it's something else - recovery from an eating disorder, the freedom to eat what they like without worrying, or not conforming to others' views of how they should look.
So GTFO of my commute, Protein World, and PLEASE, stop talking to me about beaches when I'm on the way to work, yeah? Ta.