‘Tis the season for weight loss ads, and the first to get big media attention in 2013 is Weight Watchers’ Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson commercial. After a stormy 2012 in which the company was criticized for hiring a pregnant Jessica Simpson to lose weight and rep the diet plan, they seem to be catching on that women aren’t keen on getting fat-shamed into shelling out for a diet program. The two stars–both of whom who have gotten considerable media attention for their weight and weight loss, talk about their history of being overweight and obsessed with their weight, emphasizing that their Weight Watchers journey has been a happy one. Is this a great trend in body positivity for 2013? Or just another marketing tactic aimed at selling women diets?
The Weight Watchers commercial is refreshing: Both celebrities fess up to their history of trying fad diets and feeling unhappy with their bodies. And unlike the models and celebrities repping so many fitness gadget and diet book ads this time of year, the two women have legitimately dealt with big weight loss struggles–and while both appear to be at a healthy weight, neither has gotten underweight or gone to an extreme, either. So far, so good.
The two women talk about how great they feel after “losing weight naturally” with Weight Watchers. “I amazed myself,” says Simpson. To which Hudson responds:
“Get used to it, because when a weight loss program is good for human nature, you can expect amazing.”
The ad doesn’t explain why Weight Watchers points, Weight Watchers recipes, or Weight Watchers etools are “natural,” or why they are “good for human nature.” (Probably because that’s just vague marketing speak that can’t really be proven or backed up.) And while I’m still slightly skeptical about Weight Watchers (a lot of people love and succeed on the program, but their processed diet foods and weigh-ins still skeeve me out), they are uniquely poised to prove that a diet company can make money and be body positive. Which would be pretty awesome for all of us.
Fad diets, fitness trends, and the overwhelming amount of fat-shaming in the media can make it feel impossible, but it losing weight and keeping a healthy outlook and self-esteem don’t have to be at odds with each other. And while not every diet is healthy (or even sane), some do actually promoting healthy habits. Even better if they’re promoting a healthy body image to go along with it.
Watch the ad and tell us what you think: