Final Project Proposal. (Kristine Gaddi)

Here is the blog to where I will be presenting my project, as well as uploading the film I’m going to make:

My project will discuss the social construction of body issues in the media: with a specific focus on idealization and glorification of achieving thinness in the advertising campaign of Special K commercials “What will you gain when you lose?”; and the hypocrisy of their “More Than Just A Number” campaign. I will be doing a film that involves me discussing the issue as well as me interviewing several students on their opinions over diet culture in Western society.

I don’t only want to discuss about how the company perpetuates the notion that you aren’t good enough and that you will ultimately find happiness in weight loss if you stick to the diet, but also how they disguise their motives in completely and utterly deceptive advertising techniques. I want to demonstrate the hidden messages these diet companies place in their advertisements, such that happiness is the ultimate goal once you achieve your weight loss efforts. This isn’t the only underlying problem, but is also contained in the methods to achieving that weight loss as well; Special K promotes a strategic 1200 calorie diet, which is certainly not enough to maintain metabolism or nearly enough for a grown woman to survive off from; And from my own personal experience, can lead to disordered eating habits.

On one hand, indeed, Special K promises that you will gain that confidence if you stick to their diet plan but on the other hand they also have run advertising campaigns saying to “stop the fat-talk!” Special K’s main tagline is, “What will you gain when you lose?” This is incredibly contradictory. I’m supposed to realize that I’m worth more than a number and yet you’re still putting emphasis on me losing weight!

I also want to define the meaning of thin privilege and how it contributes to fat phobia. Thin privilege is systematic and reduces each of us to physical aspects, such as waist size, dress size, hip measurement then grants favors, opportunities, or simple lack of punishment when the numbers are low enough. Thin privilege is a social phenomenon that exists as a function of fat stigma, and it exists regardless of someone’s personal experience being thin or fat.

My project will focus on how the diet industry in these commercials and how their advertisements project the ideological framework of thin privilege. Upon dealing with my own struggles with body image, lack of self-love, and equating food with guilt, I believe it is important to address the pervasive message of these advertisements in promoting fat phobia and fat discrimination.



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