Saturday, July 19, 2008

fat kids

So i’m looking at this American Apparel ad for “the slim slack” and i see what one generally expects to see in one of their ads – notwithstanding their usual pedophilic training project – a skinny girl wearing skinny pants that, we are assured, can be had in over twenty colours.

It occurs to me once more that the increasing apathy and diminished attention spans of the barely adult – and that label applies to anyone under forty – and the wannabe adults has to do with a necessary filtering out of the mixed messages in the media.

Advertising glorifies skinny people. Even the natural beauty campaign spearheaded by Dove generally shows fit models with big boobs and, naturally, firm round butts. Meanwhile, health experts across North America are telling people that’s not normal, that it is okay to be a fat fuck as long as you, you know, get on an exercycle a few times a week for thirty or forty minutes. That way you can be fat and lazy and still minimise your cost on government healthcare.

So, a mixed message. Complicated by airline fuel surcharges compensating for the extra fifty or sixty pounds the average American weighs now compared to ten or twenty years ago. Complicated by numerous studies showing that excess fat makes people more prone to cancer (like smoking!). Complicated by an ad trying to sell you a triple bacon cheeseburger following right on the heels of the ad for skinny jeans. Complicated by the illegality of tobacco ads and the fact that smoking makes you skinny.

The result? Fat kids in skinny jeans who can’t read ads because they stopped giving a shit about anything other than their urges. Know why? Because we can’t agree on anything other than their urges and THAT is what we sell them. You can mix that message but they’ll still get it.

Tune in next week when we return to AA and why showing the labia of a 14 year old girl in ads is actually not a good thing.

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