When I first saw those obnoxiously yellow adverts my first thought was … ah here we go… summer is definitely round the corner. The great ‘are you beach body ready’ is the real game changer in marketing for the next quarter. We have the post Christmas weight loss and gym ads that disappear by March just in time for the summer body panic.
Now I could take the same approach as the rest of the social media crew that are highlighting the body shaming aspect of reminding women they need to be ready to put a bikini on – because what a surprise my tube isn’t covered with hot topless men (shame) encouraging blokes to tone up… It is amazing how men are totally excluded from the great media weight debate.
But actually for me Protein World highlights a much greater problem for our eating habits. It isn’t that the final image of the model (although it appears to be retouched) but the fact that we are telling everyone that in order to look like that (and there is nothing wrong with looking like that) we need to not eat actual food but powder food and shakes and pop some pills. Does no one else think this is nuts? What happened to eating food, you know in real format.
It is worth noting that the model fronting the campaign is a vegan so I imagine she has a pretty clean and raw living regime anyway.
We are so obsessed with the construct of physical perfection, oh and the idea of doing it as fast as possible, that it isn’t really about inner health it’s about being a visual representation of what we perceive healthy to look like.
One of the biggest issues in this country is the availability and low cost of bad food over good food. Bad food is available every few steps and with people being time and cash poor it is often these options that are used to fuel our bodies. The level of education around food and dietary requirements as well as cooking skills and understanding what we put in our bodies is the reason that the issue around food has become so complicated. We shouldn’t create a world where we can’t understand food enough that we have to exchange it for shakes. The fear around calories is now so great that even my bottle of water carefully reminds me it’s ok to drink it as it has emblazoned ‘0 Calories’ across it.
Children of the ‘I want it now’ generation has also quite frankly made us lazy. We want quick fixes. We don’t want to work toward ‘that body’, if we are going to get it all at all we are going to do it fast and with a protein shake hit along the way.
So the reason I’m against those Protein World adverts isn’t because they show a picture of a hot girl but because they further destroy the eating habits and understanding of nutrition and our bodies. They create a seemingly perfect physical end goal that can only achieved not through creating the best on going eating habits with good and nutritious food but with quick fixes and supplements and we are already in enough trouble.