beach body ready, you are kidding right?

by Randy Lahey on February 24, 2017 - 5:22pm

According to this advertisement if you want to be prepared for summer time activities like going to the beach your body must be

as disturbingly thin as this woman's and to achieve this you can purchase this company's protein bars instead of eating regular meals.

Whoa, please tell me I miss analised this! Nope, I did not, this is clearly the message this company is trying to convey to women and it

is absolutely terrifying.  

This advertisement was put out in early 2015 by a company called “protein world” whose objective was to sell weight loss products to women. (Hackman, Rose) Their campaign focuses on promoting meal replacement and weight loss products by body shaming women as they ride the underground subway system in london. The idea behind the ad is simple, if your body does not look like the women's in the ad you must stop eating food and buy meal replacement products from “protein world”.


It took about 25 seconds for me to pull up 4,590,000 examples of “female offensive advertisements’’ from google. A fair amount come from the 1940’s and 50’s but the majority of the examples come from this past decade. It’s kind of horrifying to think that 60 years of progression haven’t even succeeded in abolishing our preconceived notions that women are only attractive when they starve themselves to the point where their health is put in danger.

I'm going to bet that a man was in charge of this campaign because there is no way a women could approve of such a female offending advertisement. The idea that women have to live and look a certain way to please men is getting real old, real fast. As explained in the 2011 film, Miss Representation, women only make up roughly 3% of the media's board of director, when 51% of the world population is female. The messages women absorb from the media is coming from a male perspective. (Miss Representation) It may seem easy to say that women don't have to conform to these social norms, but that's the problem, they have become social norms! As a young woman grows up she will live in a world surrounded by advertisements just like this and will believe it is normal to look this way because when she looks at the people around her, she will see woman falling into this trap all over the place, looking just like the women in the poster.

Everything from the bright yellow two piece that clearly draws attention to the woman's erotic areas to her seductive glance suggests one thing, she is nothing but a decorative device for male pleasure, and what is worse, is that this poster clearly demonstrates that unless a woman is in physically perfect or worse, desirably perfect condition, she is not attractive enough.

Anorexia, bulimia, purge eating, and binge eating are just a few of the mental and physical disorders women as young as 15 years old have because of the messages about the female figure society have created. (statistics)  Fear of being outcasted or even bullied drives women to self induce vomiting on a daily bases. Advertisements like this one contribute dramatically to the issue, they remind women everywhere they go that they are physically imperfect and therefore undesirable. The vulnerability this creates is then targeted to sell protein bars in this scenario.  

This poster as simple as it is with a picture of a woman and a slogan was posted all over the london subways system with a three week contract, its offensive message towards women was most likely overlooked during the campaigns creation, to intentionally offend women on such a massive scale is absolutely unimaginable coming from a major corporation like this one.  It is for reasons like this that offensive advertising makes it to the real world, but that is no excuse. This advertisement could have conveyed a similar message with a more health oriented slogan as opposed to “Are you beach body ready”. A man and women in healthy shape would be appropriate as well with a slogan promoting an active lifestyle. This advertisement should stand as an example of a campaign whose message may not have been to deliberately offend women but whose message was easily interpreted in a negative way. No one is perfect in this world but when working with on such a broad scale it is absolutely crucial to be certain that an advertisement is not offending any one or perpetuating social phenomenons like body shaming in any way, shape, or form.  

Work CIted:

"Original Ad "Are You Beach Body Ready?" | Protein World's "Beach Body Ready" Ad." Know Your Meme. N.p., 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Hackman, Rose. "Are you beach body ready? Controversial weight loss ad sparks varied reactions." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 27 June 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

Miss Representation . Dir. J. S. N. Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 2011.

"Statistics." Statistics | National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.


I must admit that you certainly brought up quite appalling yet important arguments that demonstrate the problems currently present with society's views on gender. We often like to this of our generation being better educated and more advanced than all of those before us, yet we still maintain such ignorant views that women must starve themselves in order to attain an inhuman physics in order to be loved by another male. We would think that being as educated and advanced in 2000's that we would no longer see such repulsive messages circulating in society, yet you have proved with this advertisement that we have not advanced with society's values of an ideal female physic. Perhaps you could have maybe analyzed the features of the model which are often connected to the perfect female physic (white skin, blonde hair, defined jaw line, soft clean skin, etc), which also lead to women spending tones of money on plastic surgery and aesthetics products in our society. The one thing I would not be so certain about is the assumption that a man made this advertisement. The reason this messages exist are partially because society's members (both men and women) believe them to be true. If a women believes this message to be true, it is very possible that a women who is in the marketing industry is likely to create an ad that reflects her and society's values of the perfect female image. I completely agree with the proposed solution, but adding a man in the ad may not be ideal seeing as the advertisement may be directly targeting women as customers.I agree that having a slogan that comments on the health benefits of the protein bar is a perfect way to help change the messages of this advertisement, as well as changing the image. Well done!

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