I don't know if I even have the energy to fully parse this new Weight Watchers commercial starring Charles Barkley, in which he dresses up as a woman to somehow prove that Weight Watchers is not just for women. (Shouldn't he dress up as a super butch not-woman to make that point?)
He then stresses that he still gets to eat "man food" like steak and pizza. So don't worry, dudes! You too can funnel a chunk of your salary into the multimilliondollar diet industry, but like, not in a chick way.
I mean, yeah, it's sexist to be like "Hey, I have on a dress 'cause I'm dieting!", but there are websites you can go to to tell you what's sexist if you need that sort of information. I'll just let you know generally, a LOT of stuff is sexist and it sucks.
But when it comes to this particular commercial, I'm not even offended as a woman so much as a pizzaterian. As my ever-wise boyfriend Pete put it, "That's people food!" I mean, you've taken my quarter on the dollar, you want to take my reproductive rights, but tear my pizza out of my cold, dead hands for real.
I'm a Weight Watchers member and I can tell you exactly how many points are in slices of pizza of varying sizes, brands and toppings. I know how many points are in a steak based on size and whether or not you slice off the fat. (You never slice off the fat.)
Weirdly, the reaction to the ad so far seems to be overwhelmingly positive, a variation on the message of "Good for him for spreading the word that not just women need to worry about their weight!"
To me, that's a little like saying "Thank God men are finally being sexually harassed, too! It's about time it wasn't just women getting catcalled!" I don't know if I feel any better about dieting culture (which I both participate in and find problematic) when applied unilaterally to both sexes. (Although, of course, plenty of men already diet, if in fewer numbers than women.)
That's not even getting into how queer folks might feel about this campaign, although Barkley has said some pretty awesome stuff on the subject of gay athletes. Not that that gives him carte blanche to crossdress for chuckles on TV for the rest of his life.
Either way, this whole "Lose Like a Man" campaign is just another example of unecessarily gendered advertising ala lady vodka: Men and women, last time I checked, use essentially the same formula to shed body mass. And pizza? Is for everyone.
Check out the full commercial and then let me know what I should think about it. He does have nice legs.