Photo courtesy of adweek.com
Recently, Coca Cola announced that they would be releasing a limited edition Diet Coke Taylor Swift can, which is notably sleek and slender. The slim can adorned with Taylor Swift’s autograph and a quote, “If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t even change” provides a critical analysis on the process of gender and subsequent expectations of the female body. The diet coke product of the advertisement, has connotations of slenderness regardless of the size of the can, but with the additional slim can it entrenches the product in what Bordo calls “the most powerful normalizing mechanism of our century” (186). The subject of the advertisement, Taylor Swift, adds to the gender commentary of the product. As Taylor Swift becomes the subject of the advertisement, her demographic becomes the audience. Swift’s demographic happens to be women from the ages of 18-24, which intertwines the thin value being sold in the can “as a contemporary ideal of specifically female attractiveness” (Bordo, 205). As Taylor Swift is idolized by this demographic, so is her slenderness, which places an already vulnerable group to becoming more susceptible to the harms of eating disorders.
Bordo, Susan. Unbearable Weight. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.