What better way to liven up your mundane daily commute than with a heap load of body-shaming? Nothing gets us more pumped for the working day than thinking: ‘Hey, my thighs are looking gross. I should probably cancel my summer holiday and spend the next few months crying while scrolling through Hot Celebrity Bikini Bodies slideshows’.
At least, we imagine that’s what the people behind Protein World’s latest ads were thinking when they commissioned London’s Snidiest Tube Ads Of 2015. Featuring a bikini-clad female model with the abs of a Victoria’s Secret Angel, they ask ‘are you beach body ready?’ in bold scary caps. All to advertise a sure-to-be-delicious protein shake powder.
The ads – which seem to be everywhere – have sparked a Change.org petition to get them removed, with campaigners describing them as ‘directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model’. It’s had more than 20,000 signatures so far. The Advertising Standards Agency has also received more than 30 complaints from people saying the adverts promote the idea that ‘only one type of body is fit for the beach’.
— Cait Crosse (@cait_gc) April 21, 2015
And that’s not all. The ads have been subject to guerrilla campaigning from protestors who’ve changed the message (both digitally and IRL) to ‘each body’s ready’ and ‘Yer, because I can go to beaches and I’ve got a body’. Even lovely, lovely Dove have taken a pop at them with a Twitter ad that reads ‘yes, we are beach body ready’ and features plus-sized models.
— Matt Weatherall (@MTWTHRL) April 16, 2015
But don’t worry, fans of shame and objectification – Protein World do not appear to give a shit about any of the criticism. They argue that the the adverts are okay because the model has a healthy BMI. They also say: ‘It is a shame that in 2015 there are still a minority who aren’t focusing on celebrating those who aspire to be healthier, fitter and stronger.’