“Why are you complaining about one ad campaign? What’s the big deal? This is how things ARE, it’s not like this one campaign is any different. Stop whining.”
This was essentially the jist of a twitter exchange I had a few days ago. And really, it seems to be the jist of a lot of the criticisms of the backlash against Protein World’s London ad campaign. ‘It’s just a bunch of Social Justice Warriors picking on a company that is doing what companies do.’
I have a couple responses to that line of thinking.
First, it’s not really about Protein World. Yes, this is how things are. Pictures of half naked women are used to sell everything from protein powder to cars to razor blades. Naked ladies sell. Fact. I chimed in to the Protein World fray, but the fact is that Protein World is just one small drop in an ocean of objectification. I don’t really care about Protein World. I care about the bigger picture. I’m not ‘complaining’ about Protein World specifically, or this ad campaign. I’m objecting (and have been objecting for years) to the use of half naked women’s bodies to sell stuff that has nothing to do with women’s bodies. I’m tired of seeing half naked women’s bodies used as objects to sell shit that had nothing to do with women’s bodies. I’m tired of my daughters seeing half naked women’s bodies used to sell shit that has nothing to do with women’s bodies.
This is the way the world is. Yes. And I don’t like it. So I’m changing it.
Which brings me to my second response to this line of thinking:
Protein powder won’t give you a beach ready body.
Sorry. You can drink protein shakes until you puke, and you won’t get (what Protein World declares) a beach ready body, not that way. Protein shakes don’t make you lose weight, they don’t make you build muscle, they don’t burn off fat.
What protein shakes do is..get this…give you protein.
Now, getting adequate protein, in addition to a balanced, calorie appropriate diet, and a well planned exercise program, and adequate sleep, and a LOT of time and patience and consistency, and the right genetics MAY give you (Protein World’s version of) a beach ready body. But…and here’s where it gets really crazy…you can get adequate protein without drinking protein shakes.
I know. I’ll wait for you to pick you jaw up off the floor.
Protein shakes can make getting adequate protein a little more convenient, but it turns out that protein is in all sorts of foods, and it’s possible to meet your needs through food alone! I KNOW, RIGHT? CRAZY!
Now, if you like protein shakes, well then you go on with your bad self and drink them, I won’t fault you, and in fact I may join you now and then (I have been known to imbibe a little myself). Ain’t no thing wrong with a good protein shake now and then, or heck, every day if that’s what floats your boat. Knock yourself out!
But the reality is that 1. getting Protein World’s version of a ‘beach ready body’ takes a HELL of a lot more than protein shakes, and 2. you don’t even need protein shakes to get (Protein World’s version of) a beach ready body, and 3. you don’t need Protein World’s idea of a beach ready body in order to go to the beach.
And also. The model in the ad is gorgeous. And so are you. Yes, you, the one reading this right now. Her body is awesome. So is mine, so is yours. And we can appreciate each other’s bodies, it won’t diminish our own beauty to acknowledge someone else’s. So, take your badass body to the beach (or not – take it where YOU want to go), and lift each other up, and show our daughters that our bodies are good for more than just selling shit that has nothing to do with women’s bodies.