Fiber One Commercial – Women and Weight Loss

I just saw this commercial on TV, and it got me thinking. I only just started realizing that commercials for healthier eating (or weight loss) are primarily targeted towards women. It’s not as if weigh loss pertains more to women than men. But what I think is that women are judged much more harshly on their looks than men are, and therefore they care more about their weight loss. I can connect this to women wearing makeup; while both men and women have flaws in their skin and facial features, women are conditioned to accept the flaws in men, while men are expecting photoshopped women, or the next best thing which is enhancement by makeup. I can see now why women are expected to lose weight while they just accept that men won’t.


2 thoughts on “Fiber One Commercial – Women and Weight Loss

  1. cardiana2013

    I agree with your reasoning as to why weight loss commercials seem to target women more than men. I believe it’s right on the mark. Women definitely do face more pressure than men to look physically attractive, and so women want to lose weight to fit the slender body society has deemed ideal and apply make-up to appear more feminine. I’m thinking of another aspect that could have influenced such a norm, and that is historically what men looked for in women and vice versa. Just a few centuries ago, men held the paying jobs in society and thus, the more money he had, the more attractive he became. Women, on the other hand, did not work and therefore had to find some way to attract men for marriage and support. That way was to appeal to a man’s sexual desires or desire to have children, making it, in most cases, purely about a woman’s body and nothing more. So yes, I agree that there is a sort of “conditioning” that is done to men and women in the way they expect their counterpart to be. Unfortunately, a lot of women buy into the social expectation, hence the amount of commercials that are made specifically for them.

  2. hsteitle

    Nearly every discussion about body image seems to end up resulting in broad gender statements about societal expectations for men and women’s bodies – for example, when cardiana2013 says “Women definitely do face more pressure than men to look physically attractive,” or when meyercar said, “women are judged more harshly on their looks than men are,”. As a man who has struggled with my body image for 13 years, I find these statements offensive and exclusive. First, these statements seem to espouse the general idea that all men are completely impervious to societal expectations of thinness, indeed sometimes even to the point where these expectations are trivialized into nonexistence. I do not experience a dearth of pressure to be thin, though, and for people to consistently claim that the pressures I respond to are “trivial” or “nonexistent” seems to be to be a goal contrary to the aims of this class – to recognize privilege and oppression where it exists and work toward a more equitable manifestation of society.

    Second, though, I feel that these statements are distinctly heteronormative. Numerous scientific studies have found that gay men feel societal pressures at least equal to those felt by straight women to be thin. In fact, in many studies of body image, gay men were found to have worse body images than any other groups, while straight men have the best. Due to the substantial differences introduced when sexual orientation is taken into account, I think it is necessary when talking about body image and societal ideals of thinness to discuss both gender and sexual orientation. To do otherwise trivializes a group for whom the discussion is very much pertinent.


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