This commercial for the new 2014 Kia Soul premiered in August during MTV’s Video Music Awards. The commercial revolves around the intense workouts and eventual weight loss of the face of Kia, the Kia Hamsters. Even in the youtube description, the “formerly frumpy Kia Hamsters” are described ditching their “furry folds” and transforming into “lean, mean, head-turning machines.” Kia is trying to say that fat is frumpy, doesn’t sell, and doesn’t get any attention. Luckily, the answer to better sales isn’t hard to find, and in fact lies within images of thinner hamsters, because thin is attractive.
From what I’ve gathered from this campaign, fat-shaming sells products, and Kia is cashing in on the trend. It’s a shame to see this kind of negative media still circulating, objectifying and condemning the dreaded curse that is fat. Marilyn Wann says that if you think “thin is inherently beautiful and fat is obviously ugly,” you’re adding on to the social stigma of fat. Needless to say, Kia is not doing fat studies work.
Wann, Marilyn. Foreword, “Fat Studies: An Invitation to Revolution.” The Fat Studies Reader. New York University Press. New York.