More Fat Shaming Ads, Blue Cigs Edition

Last night, I received this email from reader Lizzie, drawing our attention to another icky BBW-shaming ad.
Publish date:
November 22, 2011
advertising, fat shaming, bad ads, pretty in the past, Janet Leigh, psycho, The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock

Hi Emily,

I read your piece on the intensely mean Ashely Madison advertisement and the subsequent interview with the model. Loved the interview but the story didn't strike much of a chord with me, mainly because I'm new at being fat and perhaps have kind of reverse BDD where I am still a size 12 in my mind. Working on it and xoJane is a fun spot for inspiration. Also, your back fat, thank you. Back to the matter at hand: a fat shaming ad that is really screwing with my head. Allow me to explain what happened and how I felt.

Tonight, I opened my mailbox to find 3 different issues of Maxim magazine in my boyfriend's name. Neither of us ordered it so it's a mystery to be solved later. I opened one. Maxim is practically exploding with women in lingerie or bikinis. But honestly, if I looked like them, I would be naked so much more often. I'd have to work on my bikini posture (that thing where they point their boobs above the horizon?)

Looking at those pictures instantly made me start to judge myself. Two thoughts were resonating in my head.

1- Goddammit, I want to be thin again.

2- If I were thin again, I would be having much better sex and probably more of it.

A shitty way to think, I know, but I'm being frank and those thoughts have to do with how I felt when came to the page I stopped on the longest. An ad for an electronic cigarette with the slogan, "No regrets." To drive that message home, they've pictured a slender man enjoying a "cigarette" in bed next to a BBW in a vinyl corset with an eerily believable just-been-sexed-up look on her face.

This made me feel so fucked up. I was just telling myself that my sex sucks because I'm fat (incorrect, I know) but she looks like she got fucked all right and damn it I haven't made that face in a bit. But wait...oh hell no. Blatant fat shame.

But this ad is so strange. She seems to be fine with this. Is she the opposite of Juicy Jacqulyn? WWJJD? I don't know. I had to tell someone and my bestie and my boyfriend are working late. Can you fucking believe this shit? Imagine the intended readers of Maxim seeing this ad and laughing with their bros. It's yucky. That woman seriously might haunt my dreams tonight.

Have a magnificent evening, my friend. I hope that sounded as creepy as I meant it to sound. Thanks for reading through this if you did. Lizzie

Oh dear. Sounds like someone has been FAT SHAMED. This ad did the one thing to you that we always talk about this ads doing, which is made you feel bad about your body. Luckily, you did the right thing by calling in the xoJane Self Love Reinforcement Squad. Let's break it down.

First, and I think most importantly, this is an ad for the stupidest product ever. Can you imagine if you were out at da club in your best vinyl corset and this dude strolled up to you with a freaking electronic cigarette between his lips? What is he, a robot? He would be getting none of this!

Secondly, that chick is hot and judging from the spent and satisfied expression on her face, probably AWESOME in bed. I know people hate that whole "fat chicks are better in bed" trope, and rightly so, cause it's offensive! But...

Look. I do think that sometimes, not fitting into the presumed social ideal makes some people overcompensate in other ways. The best oral sex I've ever gotten in my life has been from short dudes. BBW women, for whatever reason, are often a lot freer and less inhibited in bed. FAT CHICKS GIVE THE BEST HEAD. There, I said it. Nothing's going to make me not believe it! I can't live a lie for you people.

But even if you don't believe me, you do know that the best lovers are those who are enjoying themselves heartily, which you can do at any size.

Thirdly, and I know two wrongs don't make a right, etc., but that dude isn't exactly an archetype of masculine perfection. He's scrawny, and look at that scruffy little patch of chest hair! Maybe she felt a little regretful when she woke up with her face in that pectoral goatee.

But I don't mean to take it out on you, ad guy, especially since you presumably have no regrets about all the hot fattie sex you were having last night.

The point is that this ad is just playing on tired old stereotypes that don't hold up to real life any more than any other advertising cliche. How often do you think people get little bells to ring when they're sick or try to juggle two dates to one school dance? And yet, that stuff happens on every sitcom ever in existence, because people are boring and unoriginal. If you're looking for an accurate reflection of gender relationships and sexuality, please please please go anywhere but to the advertising industry. (See also: movies, television, and men's and women's magazines.)

Lastly, take a damn picture of your belly and send it my way, before I sic Juicy Jacqulyn on you.