The Active Life Movement has produced these ads as part of their campaign against childhood obesity:




What irks me about this ad campaign is the negative message (i.e., the implicit “don’t”).  The message is: Don’t look like this.  And, maybe secondarily: Don’t eat a lot, watch TV, use your computer, or have conversations (?).   It’s ultimately restrictive and shaming.

The message could be a positive one (i.e., an implicit “do”): Do go outside, play, learn to dance, enjoy nature!  All of those would (presumably) accomplish the goals of the Active Life Movement without shaming people who don’t look like Barbie, Superman, or Legos (?) and who like to eat food, watch TV, be on the computer, and sit down sometimes.

Ultimately, then, instead of promoting the behaviors the organization likes, the advertisers resorted to reinforcing fat phobia/hatred and the stereotype that fat people just sit around and eat.

[I just realized I’m sitting in my bed, with a cat, having tossed off my shoes, I’m on my computer… and I am eating a SNACK!!!! Oh no!!!!!]

(Ad Freak via Shapely Prose.)