Ad Critique: Fat, Health, and Happiness

One key element I noticed about this ad is that it completely lacks any discourse on health, or even weightloss; it does not motivate the audience to purchase Sono Bello liposuction to be healthier or to confront obesity, but to “remove fat, permanently.” This tells the audience to value appearance over health, which is clearly an inverted and problematic ordering of priorities. Also, in calling for the removal of fat, this  advertisement (as well as the existence of a liposuction company like Sono Bello) exemplifies Bordo’s observation that media constructs fat and bulges as the enemy.

Furthermore, this advertisement imposes what Marilyn Wann described in  Fat Studies as the belief that the fat life is not worth living. The advertisement asks the question “remember what your life was like two dress sizes ago?,” implying that as weight increases, enjoyment goes down. The slogan for the ad is also “it’s your life, live it beautifully,” which again implies that the only way to achieve a beautiful life is through abolishing fat. Also in its imagery of happy, smiling, thin people, this commercial again associates joy with a slender body, imposing values of thinness on the viewer.

Bordo, Susan. “Reading the Slender Body.” Unbearable Weight. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. 185-212. Print.

Marilyn Wann, “Forward,” in The Fat Studies Reader, by Esther D. Rothblum and Sondra Solovay (New York: New York University Press, 2009), XIV.


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