PETA Fat Shaming

Original Advertisement:



To fully understand this ad we must look at what PETA is and their goals. PETA also known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals uses controversial advertisements to make their opinions heard that people should not kill, eat, harm, wear, or use animals for entertainment. Matusitz and Forrester (2013) state that a “common social noise tactic used by PETA is shock advertising, which is instrumental in the cultural construction of animal rights” (p.85). The shock method used by PETA uses extremely controversial photos and words that catches viewer’s attention by them being shocked on what they have just read or seen. The ad I am using created by PETA shocks viewers attention by comparing a women who is not up to America’s standards on how her body looks with telling people to lose the blubber (fat) and to stop killing whales. The problem with this ad is that PETA has not shamed people who commit animal cruelty but has shamed people in particular females for not being skinny. Had this advertisement had a picture of a whale swimming in the ocean it wouldn’t have shocked society. However, since PETA used a heavier looking women figure and referred to losing the blubber implying on losing fat, this advertisement is suggesting more than to stop killing animals but that heavier weighted females should lose weight as well. Although PETA is a good social movement for helping fight against animal cruelty, this ad especially is placing a type of cruelty towards overweight women by fat shaming them. It brings me to think why didn’t PETA use a photo of a male? A problem within this advertisement is that PETA has not advocated towards saving animals at all in this ad and nonetheless has stated that females should have a Victoria Secret model body and the image of the female on the ad is unacceptable.

Second Advertisement Jammed:


My jammed version of the advertisement bluntly states the real message of original ad. Had PETA used a picture of a whale instead of an overweight women this ad would have been exactly what PETA stands for, a social movement to stop animal cruelty. However, PETA’s attempt was appalling and though they are known for the shock factor of advertising, they have shocked society by taking their ad to the extremes and shaming women who are seen as overweight in America. On a typical drive through a populated city, a person may see numerous of billboards and advertisements that highlight models and girls in bikinis to attract females to a certain product and more notably, an image of how female’s bodies should look. Eller (2014) states, “there is a thinness norm in America; normative body types are thought to be both healthy and beautiful,” and those who violate the thinness norm are seen as “failures of self-discipline, and therefore moral failures (p.220). It is clear that PETA failed even in the slightest to produce an ad that discriminates against animal cruelty and yet this ad does the opposite by fat shaming females and most importantly adds into the picture of how America wants females to look. Since this ad is about PETA advertising for people to stop eating meat and in this case whales, I have taken the original advertisement and blurred out “Go Vegetarian.” I have replaced the words with “Stop Eating” as that’s the real message PETA is trying to tell overweight females. This is trying to invoke that even a highly looked at social movement like PETA can body shame females in order to have their advertisement viewed.


Eller, G. M. (2014). On fat oppression. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 24(3), 219-45. Retrieved from

Matusitz, J., & Forrester, M. (2013). PETA making social noise: A perspective on shock advertising. Portuguese Journal of Social Science Portuguese Journal of Social Science, 12(1), 85-100. Retrieved from

Markowski, J. PETA. Digital image. Quality Logo Products. Retrieved from:

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