Hold the guilt, please

I was listening to the radio in the car today, something I usually don't do. For one, I haven't yet found a station that plays the songs I like (seeing as it would have a listenership of, like, me, I'm not exactly surprised), and two, I hate the ads. I have developed quite a music collection over the years and spent hours downloading my CDs to my iPod. Today, however, I was in my mom's car and lacked the high-tech paraphernalia I usually use. So radio it was.

This experience- about 30 minutes of radio in total- just confirmed my distaste for radio in general and ads in particular. Not just any ads, you see, but food ads. Specifically ads for foods that are considered the stereotypical female diet foods. Foods like yogurt.

This particular ad was for Kroger's lowfat yogurt, yogurt that was not just advertised as "lowfat." No, this yogurt was called "Kroger's Guilt No! Delicious Yes! Lowfat Yogurt." Which would have been bad enough, but, of course, it wasn't. I didn't get to write down the entire copy, but I did scribble down the line that absolutely had my jaw on the floor:

If you don't know that delicious comes with a serving of guilt, you're not a woman with a waistline!

Holy leaping stereotypes, Batman! I tried to analyze how many stereotypes were in that one little tag line, but I lost count. Just totally lost count.

I didn't know that one little ad--one thirty second slot of time--could so smashingly capture everything that is wrong with how food is advertised and conceived of in this country. Clearly, I was wrong.

Instead, I will leave you with my absolute favorite video segment on women and yogurt by Sarah Haskins. You will never (and I do mean never) think of yogurt the same way again.

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Marilla said...

It's true. Yogurt has always always been my guilt free food, no matter what--I rationalize it by saying, oh, protein, dairy, vitamins, all that. No, I've simply bought into the media "frenzy" over yogurt. Darn it.

(word verification is atelow. irony, much?)

Cathy (UK) said...

Haha, this made me giggle!

Seriously though, the lengths that some companies go to sell their product through media advertising is quite insane...

Interestingly, a UK advert for one brand of yoghurt has recently been banned for making unsubstantiated claims about its capacity to improve our health...

I do eat yoghurt, simply because I like the taste of it...

Girl. said...

mmm... i love yoghurt. i was challenged by my psych to switch to a different yoghurt because i always had to have the lowest fat, lowest calorie, lowest sugar yoghurt.
so i switched to a delicious one, but my body issues got hold of me and i couldnt handle the double amount of calories anymore.
so now back to the bland shit :(

Amy said...

That is probably still my favorite Target Women. So funny.

Colleen said...

WOW that was hilarious! and its SO TRUE! and yeah, who serves yoplait at a wedding?

anyway, i just wanted to say i came across your blog and i'm SO glad i did. read your book "next to nothing" and it was great! now i'm in recovery and doing well. keep inspiring girls and women everywhere!

Entangled said...

Ugh. Yogurt advertising is the worst.

When I was having issues, I felt guilty that I didn't eat yogurt. It was supposed to be this super amazing high protein healthy food, but I thought it was too disgusting to look at, let alone eat.

Now - whatever. Food is just food. If I beat up a child, then, yeah, maybe I'll feel guilty about it. But something that is physiologically necessary for survival? The thought that it should be something shameful is in itself disgusting.

KristineM said...

Carrie, I feel the same way you do about ads. I won't listen to them on TV - will always mute or fast forward through them. As for radio, I listen to NPR and love it. I am always learning something, getting interesting perspectives on the news and NEVER have to listen to ads. Public radio is incredible, and I am addicted.

Sarah White said...

I LOVED that video. And, although I don't typically buy Kroger yogurt, I certainly won't in the future.

Carrie Arnold said...

For the record, I love yogurt. I like the creamy texture, and I like how it's very versatile and semi-portable.

But jeez, yogurt isn't just a diet food.

Anonymous said...


The yogurt Target Women is my favorite of them all!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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