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in brief: special K fights ‘fat talk’

Image: Buzzfeed/Youtube

Image: Buzzfeed/Youtube

Special K has launched a campaign to fight so-called ‘fat talk’ – comments from women harshly critiquing their own bodies.

In a new advertisement titled ‘Shhhhut Down Fat Talk,’ the cereal brand filled a clothing store with placards quoting negative tweets and other online commentary. The ad shows women entering the store, reading the signs, and realising the confronting truth behind throwaway comments like ‘I have a muffin top’ or ‘Cellulite is in my DNA.’ The campaign ostensibly tries to shift the ‘weight management’ conversation from negative to positive.

Tyra Banks is the celebrity face of the effort. ‘I know firsthand how much criticizing your body negatively affects self-esteem, but as a role model, I try to maintain a positive attitude and healthy approach to managing my weight,’ says Banks. ‘That’s why I’m excited to partner with Special K to help empower women to not only feel confident about their bodies, but also to remove those negative thoughts and show them how to employ tips and tricks to make their least liked physical attributes look better.’

The ad is certainly interesting and the tweets confronting. According to news reports, 93% of women critique their own bodies. Any movement to challenge those attitudes should be applauded and encouraged.

However, the past attitude of Special K advertising towards beauty and weight issues sours the overall effect of the ‘Shhhut Down Fat Talk’ ad. With an enduring message of ‘lose a bit of weight to feel beautiful’, the brand doesn’t have the best track record with empowerment. (This ad has a double-whammy with the lines ‘we don’t just wake up looking this fabulous.’ and ‘Special K – feel more delicious every day.’ Heart-warming.)

What do you think of the ad? Do you find it hard to take seriously or does the message of ending body negativity dominate? Let us know in the comments below!

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