While traipsing through the tents of Lincoln Center I encountered the new Pepsi skinny can. Although not a heavy soda drinker I had a one or two in between shows for a quick pick me up. The new packaging is slim and sleek and the ads reads “the new skinny.” In other forms of the advertisement, a slim women, Sophia Vergara is shown seductively sipping the diet soda from her perfect pout (image below). I glanced at the ads at the tents and never really thought twice about them until I started seeing blog posts about people being offended by the ads.
I have not read the press release but the controversy stems not only from the visual ads but also from the description in the press release calling the can “slim” and “attractive”. The National Eating Disorders Association responded with their own press release stating that it “takes offense” to the idea. “Pepsi should be ashamed for declaring that skinny is to be celebrated,” ~Lynn Grefe, President/CEO of NEDA. I’ve also read that the above photo of Vergara was airbrushed to make her appear even thinner.
Now the real question here is, is Pepsi creating an ad that supports pro ana imagery, eating disorders or is this just a can of soda? I’m going to have to go with the latter. Is the new can “skinny” and “attractive”? Well I’d have to say yes. Does it make me want to emulate the can? No. Pepsi make no comparison or mention of body weight or image in the ads so I’m really just not offended. Frankly which models are not airbrushed.
Have we really come to a point in society where merely the mention of the word “skinny” is offensive? I find that disconcerting when the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows that 63.1% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese in 2009 and a reference to something being skinny offends us. I’d like to see the same kind of outrage about Starbucks 31-ounce “Trenta” cup size.
What are your thoughts on the Pepsi can controversy?