Who Has The Right To Determine A Healthy Body Image?

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By Lucy Rogers

A protein company, ‘Protein world’ faced some backlash last week after releasing a campaign for being ‘beach body ready’ in London. The posters evoked an array of people to take to social media to express their discern.

So, what’s so wrong with it? The model on the poster is very slim, and is bronzed within an inch of her life. What sort of message does this put across to the general public? Let’s be honest, very few of us look like the (most likely) airbrushed model in the poster, but does that mean that we’re not ‘beach body ready’? Surely a weight loss company should not be given the right to determine what body image is the ‘correct’ one. Their advert discriminates against people who are not as slim as the rather unrealistic body image portrayed in the posters.

It seems that plenty of people were left feeling inferior to the unrealistic body image promoted in the campaign, as thousands of the posters dotted around London have been vandalised, and the results can be seen on Twitter. One protestor simply wrote ‘F**k off’ underneath the caption ‘Are you beach body ready?’ while another stuck a piece of paper to the poster, reading ‘Don’t worry about it. You look gorgeous the way you are’. Two feminists even staged a protest next to one poster, standing in their bikinis in the London Underground to prove that everyone is beach body ready.

While this shows the unity and strength of the general public, for refusing to allow a company such as this to discriminate like they have, it was the reaction of the company that really struck a cord with me. I originally tried to defended the posters by assuming that perhaps the company didn’t realise what sort of message they were putting across, however having read their responses on twitter to the protestors it is clear that their marketing campaign was very deliberate.

Not only have this company irresponsibly drawn upon people’s insecurities in order to make them buy their products, but they also then go onto offend the British public. Yes it’s good to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but plenty of people that do so still don’t have a body like the model in the adverts. Who’s right is to determine this to be a healthy body image?

As far as I’m concerned, the only thing that I will need to be beach body ready when I go on holiday is plenty of sun cream.

If you would like to sign the petition for the removal of these adverts, please do so here.

Lucy Rogers, 1st Year English and Creative Writing. Follow her on Twitter @Lucy_Rogers

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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