This ad for SparkPeople is relatively simple, as most Facebook ads are, and yet the ad still manages to assert a number of topics stressed this unit. The ad implies that SparkPeople can grant the viewer “all the tools you need to get fit and lose weight” – and, as Hesse-Biber asserts, “American women are told that they can have the right body only if they consume more products,” (75). This ad, then, mirrors that most basic tenet of correlating consumerism with physical beauty.
The ad does have an interesting dynamic for two other reasons, though. First, that the ad uses a woman is very symbolic – an obsession with thinness is seen as typically feminine. Thus, the use of a female model demonstrates that media is aware of who cares about their weight, and is trying to target them by showing them people like them.
The other interesting aspect, though, is that the ad was shown to me. Facebook targets all advertising, and I believe I was selected for this ad because my Facebook lists me as a gay man. Thus, this shows that media also understands that new groups are being incorporated into this category of the “thin obsessed”.
Hesse-Biber, Sharlene. The Cult of Thinness. Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press. 2007.