Monday, November 19, 2012

Is Jessica Simpson a good spokesperson for Weight Watchers?

Jessica Simpson in her Weight Watchers commercial

Every time I go to my Weight Watchers meeting and see Jessica Simpson’s face, I’m annoyed. Not because I have anything against her as an entertainer, but my annoyance is rooted in how she as a spokesperson perpetuates negativity toward overweight women.

If you didn’t catch her commercial, here’s a quick recap. Basically, the commercial is 30 seconds of a close-up of Jess’ fluffy face as she talks about “eating real food in the real world”. Yes, that’s right, all we ever see is a close up of her face. We never see her entire body, just her pretty face. This, to me, is problematic.

In my opinion, this commercial isn’t about selling a weight loss solution, nor is it about motivating women to lose weight. Unfortunately, the commercial is more about hiding a body that does not meet the world’s pre-defined standard of beauty. Not showing Jessica’s body implies that there is something that needs to be covered up…something that she’s not proud of…something that she is not comfortable with the world seeing. Many of us on Weight Watchers already have our own body image issues, so seeing this commercial certainly doesn’t help us change our negative thinking.

What makes Weight Watchers so special is that while it teaches you to make lifestyle adjustments for weight loss, they also do a great job encouraging members to embrace the “skin that they’re in”. Any member that is ashamed or discouraged by their body always receives loving encouragement that helps them accept who they are, and where they are at the moment. Hiding a “less than perfect” body is not part of the Weight Watchers philosophy, so unfortunately the Jessica Simpson campaign does much more harm than good.

I realize that the commercial was done to preserve the Jessica Simpson brand, and I’m sure if I break this down from a marketing standpoint, it makes perfect sense. I still wish that Weight Watchers would have selected a celebrity that was willing to be open and transparent about their weight loss journey from beginning to end. In my opinion, this would have made a huge impact on women nationwide, regardless of whether or not they are on the program.

Oh, this just in. Jessica has lost 60lbs, and has just finished shooting a new Weight Watchers commercial...AND, I’m assuming that you’ll be able to see her entire body in this one.

Coincidence…I think not.

Check out this image from the set. Jessica is the blonde on the far right.

On the set at Jessica's new WW commercial

1 comment:

  1. Originally I thought this: I'm not sure if I'd participate on the strength of her endorsement, but I appreciate that she didn't just pop up with before and after. They're selling her as a "regular girl." I think her vapidity helps her relate to a broad swath of the public who finds themselves "misunderstood" or "not that smart" or "not that good in school" (even if those things are not true or thought of as shameful or disguises for artistic intelligence that got beat out of them emotionally, physically, etc).

    Now, after reading your post, your idea makes perfect sense. Disguising the body is another way of fomenting anti-real woman sentiment.