Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Fat Girls As Useful Life Accessories"

The Society Pages/Jezebel calls out this Mentos ad (click for larger image), which has the caption: "I love hanging out with you. All the boys keep looking at me."

It's part of an ad campaign for Mini Mentos with the tag line "Mentos Single Pack / Selfishness Without Guilt." Here are two other ads from the campaign I found (click to see larger images):

"I just got fired."
"Can I keep your stapler?")

"He's not worth crying for. Do you want to sleep at my place?"

So that is the context for these ads: a campaign that winks at bad--selfish--human behavior with cute(sy), Gorey-lite illustrations. The top one sure is weird, as well as even meaner, when you look at all the ads; the fat girl is like a toy doll--she's tiny and freakish (and voiceless) as well as shaped like an umbrella. I think what bothers me most of all is the casual assumption of sameness here: that we all could/would/do behave like this, and the way, as Lauren McGuire writes, that the drawing "makes fat and skinny people seem like members of different species." The only people given voice are thin. Always with the Other.