So last night, I was decompressing in front of the TV and a commercial for Applebees came on. The tag line for the dish advertised was 'when you feel like being good AND having steak.' This commercial featured a female diner and the dish was Weight Watchers approved.
Let me say that I have nothing against Applebees, nor Weight Watchers. In fact, for people who CR, or anyone trying to control their calorie consumption, it's great to have a chain that makes a concerted effort to provide healthier options, especially ones that center around a nice lean protein.
My issue was with the spin of the advertising. The message was that I would be a good girl if I chose the low calorie meal, but a bad girl if I chose, say, the burger. Because we all know that 'good' girls are skinny and desirable (because they have self control, discipline, etc) and 'bad' girls are not (self indulgent, lazy, etc). As if women don't get enough pressure anyway to be slender, we now need commercials adding a MORAL spin to our mealtimes? Because, yeah, I LOVE a side of guilt with my meals. Not to mention the implication that steak is typically 'bad.'
What gets me is the incredibly condescending tone of this marketing. Can you imagine a dish being marketed to men with the same theme of 'good' vs 'bad'? I certainly can't. But women are so desparate for praise and approval that if a commercial tells them they'll be 'good' for eating a certain dish (i.e. they'll be slender and feminine, the way our society wants them to be), they'll go and buy it?
Again, don't get me wrong, I am grateful to have healthy alternatives. But just advertise them as that, a healthy alternative, not a moral decision.