Weight Watchers: To Love Yourself
Posted by Rosepixie on June 2, 2010
This is a recent commercial for Weight Watchers featuring Jennifer Hudson (a singer/actress).
I actually really didn’t mind this commercial this much until she said that having lost weight “makes me love myself that much more”. And that brought me up short. At first glance, that statement isn’t so bad. Great, she loves herself more now than she did before. But if you think about what it’s telling the viewers, and more specifically the target audience of people who might want or need to lose some weight, it’s not such a great statement. If losing weight is good because it will make you love yourself more, than that means that you aren’t as worthy of your own love until you lose that weight.
And that’s not a good message at all. Because while I think Weight Watchers does a better job than most of showing healthy body shapes in their ads and not overly encouraging unhealthy body images, they aren’t in a vacuum. Their sort of unspecific weight loss ads really only work because there’s so much other stuff in our media that tells us what “fat” is and when you need to lose weight (which, sadly, is pretty much all the time if you’re a woman). And worse, Jennifer Hudson specifically has a lot of teenage fans, so using her as a spokesperson is going to get their attention more than if they had featured someone else. And teenage girls already have a hard enough time learning that they can love themselves (even beyond concerns about body size or shape or anything). Is it really a good idea to reinforce to them that they’d be more lovable if they looked different?
While I think that Jennifer Hudson could be a great spokesperson for Weight Watchers, I think that this one line makes this an incredibly irresponsible and potentially dangerous ad. Even if it’s true for her that she loves herself more, that’s more indicative of the problems we have than something to be celebrated and passed on to other people. It’s absolutely something worth talking about – but a thirty second ad spot isn’t long enough to do that in, nor is discussing such an issue the focus of an advertisement like this. I think this is a pretty horrible ad and wish I could expect better from Weight Watchers.