The ad provided is from the Protein World Twitter feed and features a blonde woman standing in a yellow bikini with the caption “Are you beach Body Ready?”. Although this seems harmless enough, the ad does three things that I believe are harmful. First, it commodifies the female body to sell a product. It uses a beautiful woman to sell a product which sexualizes and objectifies her. They are not selling bikini’s, therefore there is no sense in putting her in the bikini. Some may argue that the bikini and the caption “Are you beach body ready?” are connected, and therefore relevant. This brings me to my second point, where this ad perpetuates the fallacy that only women who look like the one in the picture can be “beach body ready”, and therefore women should all aspire to be blonde, thin, and long limbed. The ad is proposing that you can look like what they deem is a beautiful woman, if you consume their product. There are many different types of beach bodies that are beautiful and different from the woman in the picture. Lastly, they are selling a protein powder which is a product used for post-workouts. Protein powders “Regardless of age or gender, resistance training or provision of adequate amounts of dietary protein (PRO) or essential amino acids (EAA) can increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in healthy adults.” (Hulmi et al. 2010). The advertisement did not need to be about having a ‘beach body’. Instead it could have celebrated the athleticism of the protein powder consumer. Protein Worlds ad is sexist and perpetuates the commodification of women. Advertisements aimed at women should not suggest that the world is a beauty contest with narrow parameters.
In order to highlight how ridiculous this ad is, I took the original idea of “beach body” and ran with it. As I first mentioned, the concept of using protein powder to achieve a narrow parameter of “beach body” is ridiculous. Therefore, the satirical ad I created is about using protein powder while lounging at the beach. The caption reads “Athlete pro tip: add protein powder to your cocktail on the beach”. This is significant because athletes are the consumers of protein powder, therefore it is believable that the advertisement would include a suggestion from an athlete. It is satirical in the fact that it suggests protein powder should be added to a cocktail on the beach. Adding protein powder to a cocktail would be ridiculous, as protein powder is a dietary supplement whereas a cocktail is a recreational drink. I mentioned the beach because protein powders and beaches honestly have little connection, which highlights this issue with the original ad. As well, I chose not to include a sexualized picture of a person, because it is unnecessary. The original Protein World Ad did not need to sexualize that woman or suggest that other women should use its product to change their body in a way that is not in line with the products intended use. The original ad could have used any athletes engaging in significant athletic feats due to muscle growth that was aided by their protein powder; but instead they chose to put forth an offensive and irrelevant advertisement. Therefore, I chose to put forth a similarly ridiculous and irrelevant ad to highlight exactly how weak a connection there is to protein powder and objectifying people for monetary gain.
Hulmi, Juha J, Christopher M Lockwood, and Jeffrey R Stout. “Effect of Protein/essential Amino Acids and Resistance Training on Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: A Case for Whey Protein.” Nutrition & Metabolism 7 (2010): 51. PMC. Web. 19 Oct. 2018.