Thursday, April 26, 2012

Not Mutually Exclusive

I was involved in a conversation yesterday about the marketing of diet plans to the African American community. Currently, Jennifer Hudson, Charles Barkley, Mariah Carey, and Janet Jackson are all celebrity spokespeople for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. The idea was stated that because AA women tend to have "less body hatred" than white women, this marketing was offensive. It was simply corporate America trying to ruin the self-esteem of an entire group just so they could make more money off of them.

I do agree that corporate America is trying to expand into a previously untapped market. I guess that these companies did some market research and found that people viewed their product as expensive, un-hip, old, suburban and soccer-mom-ish. They thought they could alter that perception by hiring younger, cooler people to promote their product. Janet Jackson probably has more appeal with a younger market than Marie Osmond, Nutrisystem's other current spokesperson. Mariah Carey cooler than Carrie Fisher and Valerie Bertinelli. It's possible that many people under 30 may not be familiar with Osmond, Fisher or Bertinelli at all. I disagree that these companies all trying to make the amount of "body hatred" increase.

I don't think that the desire to improve our body is mutually exclusive from loving our bodies. I don't believe that if you want to lose weight, you must therefore hate your body. The conversation's initiator/leader kept trying to force people to chose between body hatred and self improvement. I think that if you HATE your body, you can't care for it. Making an effort to improve your health via weight loss is caring for your body.

I love my body. I love that I can run long distances on my legs. I love my hour-glass figure. That being said, I still would like to lose some fat. I love my mind and it's ability to do spatial reasoning tasks. I love that I can do math in my head. That being true, I would like to learn more things. I think these are perfectly synonymous situations. It's like loving your house, but wanting to paint the hallway. This is the message I always try to convey on this blog: Love the skin you are in....always strive to be better.

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