Skinny Cow for the Skinny Woman


This ad for Skinny Cow ice cream uses objectification to the extreme in order to promote their product and send a (not so subtle) reminder to women about how society expects their bodies to look.  The feminine, pink background and girly font undoubtedly direct the ad towards women, and the tantalizing treat is shown right in the middle to get the audience salivating.

“–But wait! Aren’t women are supposed to feel guilty at the thought alone of eating such a ‘naughty’ food as ice cream?  Good thing Skinny Cow makes a lower calorie acceptable-for-women version so that women can “indulge” and have skinny thighs!”

This is the message that this advertisement is sending to all women.  If you fail to comply with the societal norm of “self-monitoring and self-disciplining” your body, as stated by Susan Bordo, then when you finally do eat some ice cream, at least eat this kind because then you are allowed to love your butt and thighs.  Clearly, the ad producers believe that a woman’s physical (ass)ets are the defining factors of who she is, so much so that they are “talking” in the advertisement, proclaiming their love for Skinny Cow desserts and therefore stripping women of the power to love their bodies on their own accord.  It is infuriating that ads are now slyly providing women with the detrimental and self-hating thoughts that they are, in the words of Bordo, “out of control masses of flesh” unless they count every calorie and yearn to be skinny.  Will this type of negative promotion of body-image continue so far as to make women find a reason to “restrain, control, or eradicate” every part of their body, including their mind?  Will women soon need to consciously defend even their intellect against such ads?

Bordo, Susan. “Reading the Slender Body.” Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. Berkeley: University of California, 1993. Print.



One thought on “Skinny Cow for the Skinny Woman

  1. morganpe2013

    I thought your idea about advertisements allowing women to love their bodies was really interesting. This advertisement grants women permission that they were not asking for. This “negative promotion of body image” that you mention is extremely dangerous, and sadly affective. More and more often I see advertisements using fear in order to control women. Fear is used to scare women into molding to society’s boundaries of acceptance. I agree with you that this ad reduces women to their ass and thighs, and therefore “uses objectification to the extreme.” What is really saddening to me is that in this scenario the ad is making women see themselves as objects.


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