PETA’s “Be Proud of Your Body Scan” advertisement features the scan image of a thin, sexualized female body in sensual underwear with the aforementioned slogan printed on top of her. The ad caused significant controversies as airports refused to display it—not because of the obvious sexism, fragmentation and objectification of the female body, and fat shaming—because they believed it was inappropriately making light of body scans.
The choice to not show a head or face and to use coloring and text to bring attention to her breasts and genital area are just the start of the problem as the ad turns this woman into a literal identity-less object. The message, that in order to be proud of your body you must be skinny, is blatantly fatphobic and supports a negative hierarchal view of what constitutes a good body or a bad body.
PETA is known for their risqué and edgy advertising but that such a liberal organization would participate in such blatant fat shaming is indicative of how deeply embedded fatphobia has become in the American consciousness. To many, it seems so innately true that thin bodies are superior that they do not consider the message of thin pride to be potentially offensive, it’s just a given. And when it’s just a given it can become a slogan in mainstream advertising distributed across the country to continue to reinforce dangerous ideas about the value of women and their bodies.