In a swerve that shocked absolutely no one, women in the U.K. and U.S. did not feel 100% warm squishy thoughts about Special K (healthy/diet cereal brand of Kelloggs) and their new “Fight Fat Talk” campaign. However, as the Last Shrink said, if you are watching it… then it’s for you.
To begin with, let’s look at women not accepting compliments, much less cutting out that mean fat talk:
Fortunately, fat talk and compliment talk serve the same purpose for heterosexual women, so this first part is easy. Let’s read the answer from the back of the book: Compliment talk and fat talk both make the speaker the arbiter of attraction/beauty. For extra credit, let’s remember why to bother being attractive—it’s so you can win (more) at life and mating.
So if you are attempting to lead (compete with) your horse-shoe of friends as the arbiter of attraction, then all this compliment talk and fat talk is, at best, simple sexually competitive behavior.
I.e., it’s stuff that as a woman you pretty much have had hard-wired into you by mean old evolutionary biology/psychology for the last 100,000 years or so. “But hey man, my girlfriend says this kind of thing all the time, and I’m righteously indignant in my defense of her inner beauty!” Oops, then you failed already—two times in fact! Your girlfriend already knows she’s kinda tubby, she’s just judging your current state of sexual loyalty to her and your understanding of her (and your) value in the sexual marketplace.
“WTF bro! She’s just sensitive!” No, she’s judging you for trying so hard to show contentment with someone like her. It’s super tough to give a spur-of-the-moment blow job through a white knight’s armor.
She tells you how fat she feels after she sees the Cowboys cheerleaders for the 100th time on Fox (since we pause football games every four seconds by rule). Yeah, she probably saw you take a little longer glance than was needed–but I can’t emphasize enough that her fat talk is merely grade-school level loyalty testing (are you loyal to her specifically) and sexual valuation (do you understand your and her value in the sexual marketplace).
Wait, let’s put that white knight armor back on for a second. There’s is not much more unsettling for a heterosexual woman than to confirm her man is loyal to a fake idea of herself. It’s so awkward up on that pedestal. She’s constantly evaluating her standing with you and her standing against other competing women–if you tard it up and act like you aren’t aware of even that basic information, then she’ll get edgy. Maybe you’re way dumber than she thought. Maybe (worst feeling ever), it’s actually her incorrect valuation of the sexual marketplace that put her with you. Better get back to the football game; this will all blow over.
A valuable mate is a man with easily attainable sexual options who chooses to be with her only.
Right, fine, we’re coming back to Special K. Jesus.
Here is the homepage of this shitstorm in a teapot. Yep, perfect skin, perfectly manicured and painted nails, expensive lipstick, nose of Greek goddess—damn, it’s almost like Kelloggs is putting one over on the girls here. And that’s exactly what the smarter women are thinking! “HEY. I’m on to you, Special K! Don’t your products have carbs?? Didn’t you just tell me to take the Special K challenge and lose weight??”
Remember the point of all advertising is not the message, because the medium is the message. Advertising is always aspirational. Special K is especially obvious about what they want in this case: don’t worry about anything, you don’t need to change your life. You’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay. Hell with them. Oh, by the way, buy Special K stuff. No need for any products in this ad, the point is painfully clear: feel good, brought to you by Kelloggs!
The really irritating part about this ad for women isn’t any “irony” or the carbs or the fat talk (least of all the fat talk). It’s the blunt reminder that their diet plans and workout regimen has fallen by the wayside over and over. It’s the reminder that the women sort of tried but never followed through on making positive life change. “You are kinda fat, but we won’t embarrass you by saying it to your face. Feel good anyway–oh, by the way, buy Special K stuff!”
Special K is fighting 100,000 years of female evolution. Women are absolutely hard-wired to compete and get the best life and mate they can get. They are often willing to trade up given some time and a clearly better opportunity. (That’s not a dig against women—it’s just a fact/thing in the universe, like gravity or comets. You accept it. If you hate comets, you’re just ignorant.)
If Special K says, “Don’t worry about competing so hard,” every healthy heterosexual woman will hear a passive aggressive competitor telling her how pretty she looks and TOTALLY NOT FAT AT ALL. Remember the hyper-competitive hyper-passive-aggressive bitches on Amy Schumer’s skit?
I hypothesize the “Fight Fat Talk” concept came partly from a guy. I bet his girlfriend got tired of him misunderstanding fat talk, too. That guy, with a room full of unrealized Amy Schumers.
(Or, disregard all the above and look at Much Worse Option 2: Your girlfriend is objectively evaluating her physical health and preparing an action plan. In which case, turn off the fucking cheerleaders and follow her to the gym; time is way shorter than you think.)