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Offensive Slim-Fast Ad

November 29, 2010


I’ve seen this ad in wedding and fashion magazines targeted at adult women. I feel that it promotes the ‘thin ideal’ for women in our society, in this case brides.

Dear editors of wedding magazines,

As a plus-sized female growing up in America, it’s sad to think that the happiest event in a woman’s life–her wedding–should be dominated by the conception that all women have to wear the same size dress. Truly, though the phrase may be tired out, everyone has a different body, and women are not being encouraged to love what they have when they see ads such as the above.

The suggestion that this ad makes is that the bridal topper is so heavy that she falls through the cake. The little figure’s day, if not her life, is completely ruined. She has shamed herself and it’s all because she’s ‘fat’. In order to avoid such a fate, the ad warns, brides-to-be should drink Slim-Fast, so they can get slim fast enough to be beautiful for their wedding.

Looking around on the internet, there are a lot of different reactions to this ad campaign (all of which involve bridal toppers that have gotten ‘too fat’), but most women seem to feel similarly: this is demoting the beauty of a plus-size bride. It would seem that a bridal magazine, in an effort to increase popularity and profit, would appeal to as many different types of bride as possible. By displaying an ad like this, a bridal magazine risks losing subscribers. More importantly, though, this makes plus-sized brides ashamed of themselves. As someone who has struggled to lose weight herself, this ad makes me feel that my body simply isn’t good enough.

I would suggest that in the future, bridal magazine embrace the diversity among women’s body types. The show Say Yes to The Dress has an entire segment devoted to plus-sized bridal fittings and designs. While magazines certainly don’t need to swing completely the other way and not feature slimmer women at all, every body type needs fair representation. Ads such as the above are discriminatory and tasteless, and many readers of bridal magazines find them unappealing.

Thank you very much,


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