Subway: Please Don’t Use Halloween To Make Women Feel Fat
Whether it’s the annoyingly catchy five-dollar footlong jingle or Jared Fogle’s promise that you will lose weight by eating sandwiches, Subway commercials are abundantly recognizable in our culture. These advertisements have ranged from harmless, to annoying, to misleading (sorry, the Subway diet doesn’t seem plausible to me) but the latest addition to the repertoire has been attracting a lot of negative press for being sexist and sizeist.
In order to capitalize on Halloween, Subway recently released a commercial in which a woman calls out two of her coworkers for eating burgers. She advises them that in order to be thin for Halloween costume season, they should eat Subway. She then explores her costume options, which include an “Attractive Nurse, Spicy Red Riding Hood, Viking Princess Warrior, Hot Devil, Sassy …
I must say for a teenage girl I have always been pretty confident about my body. I have never been a twig but am also not overweight and have never felt bothered by my appearance. Every year, I fly to Germany to spend two months with my slightly crazy family – especially my grandma, the boss of the family and a woman who inspires me deeply. So you can imagine the sharp sting I felt when the last time I arrived at the family home and greeted my grandmother she kissed me, gave me a once over and declared: “My, have you grown. And fat.” I hadn’t seen the woman who means the world to me in six months, and all she could do was comment on my body.
I wouldn’t say that I was ever fat. I was always just overweight enough that girls would tell me I looked “fine” and guys wouldn’t tell me much of anything (because I guess my dazzling intellect and sense of humor wasn’t high on their priority list). As a feminist, I always tried to feel proud of my body. I really did want to accept it and love it for what it was. But that was easier said than done.
Last summer I lost about 15 pounds. When I came back to school in the Fall, I was showered with compliments. “How did you do it?” everybody asked. I told some that I hardly even noticed my weight loss and that I had no idea how …
Let’s face it: our society is full of messed up messages about our bodies. We are told that we are too fat, too old, too short, too hairy, toosaggy…and the list never ends. Our culture doesn’t embrace diversity in bodies, instead glorifying a certain type– a type that less than 5% of us have and can never achieve. If you don’t fit that type, you are shamed, made fun of, and discriminated against.
The world is telling us that we are not good enough, that we must be actively taking drastic measures to change this—measures like plastic surgery, Botox injections, hair treatments and extreme dieting. If we aren’t taking these steps, then we’re “lazy” and are treated as if we don’t care about our bodies or our lives. …
You know the saying that history can repeat itself? It sounds cliche, but it’s kind of shocking when it happens to you in real life.
Before I was a proud feminist/atheist/vegetarian I was unfortunately anorexic. Yet no one in my family seemed to notice the signs, even though when I think back they were pretty obvious. I would constantly check myself in the mirror and talk about dieting and weight loss. I would secretly go online and read fasting tips on anorexia sights. When my family discovered my notebook full of “thinsperation” I had a total meltdown and decided those days were over and I would come to respect my body and those of others for what they were.
I discovered Maggie Goes On A Diet during one of my morning rituals (I tend to start my days with a cup o' joe and a few interesting Yahoo! articles). As the above video explains, the book, aimed at girls as young as 6 or 7, is about an overweight 14-year-old who decides to go on a diet after being teased mercilessly by her classmates.
I probably don't have to tell you that Maggie has sparked a lot of controversy. The media has been raving about so-called "mommy bloggers" who are up in arms over how the book mishandles sensitive body image issues, but what I noticed after sifting through the comments on several news articles is a slightly different attitude:
Seventeen’s Pretty Amazing Contest Is Pretty Amazing
ohmahgawd an actress! let's look up to her!
I’ll be honest: I have my issues with Seventeen Magazine. It’s not just that most of the magazine revolves around a traditional and restrictive definition of beauty and their idea of “health” still revolves around dieting and working out in order to achieve your “best body ever.” My biggest problem is what the magazine overall promotes as being important to its readership of teen girls. Are we really just obsessed with how to impress the guy we like and what celebrities are up to? (No, hence, the FBomb exists). And even when “real” issues are brought up – like eating disorders or sex – they’re non-committedly grazed over (Again, oh hey, FBomb).
For over a year not very long ago, I had a plethora of very strange rules for myself to follow. I could only eat certain things at certain times. I had numbers that dictated my actions, numbers of calories and daily intake percentages and pounds. It was a suffocating process; luckily, I never followed my regulations enough for it to impact my health. Still, it affected my mind quite a bit.
Perhaps more damaging to my self-esteem was my body image. Unlike the majority of the population, especially teenagers, I really don’t enjoy food very much. This made any disordered eating-type behaviors extremely easy for me.
Most of my friends are exceptionally thin, as in magazine-ad thin. Most of them are athletic and/or naturally thin; as …