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Gillette ad features an unapologetic fat woman in a swimsuit; heads explode

Gillette model “celebrates obesity” by existing while fat

By David Futrelle

A couple of months ago, Gillette infuriated Men’s Rights Activists and other terrible people with an ad challenging toxic masculinity and suggesting that maybe it wasn’t such a good thing for men and boys to go around bullying and harassing people.

Now Gillette has a new ad out that seems designed to enrage, well, pretty much the same exact mob that came after them then. The ad, promoting Gillette Venus razors for women, features Internet-famous model Anna O’Brian — a.k.a Glitter and Lasers — posing triumphantly on a beach in a two-piece swimsuit, arms raised to the sky.

This isn’t the first time a Gillette ad has featured a woman in a swimsuit. But this particular woman happens to be fat, and so a vast horde of angry men (mostly) have gone online to attack Gillette for “glorifying obesity” and surrendering to the cuck soyboy hairy feminist woke SJW overlords. These health-conscious gentlemen and ladies have also mocked the model herself, calling her a predictable assortment of names, suggesting that she smells, and predicting that she’ll die soon.

On Twitter, quite a few decided to play the role of a “concerned” doctor:

CryptoNoobGirl 🍸 🐸
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Replying to @GilletteVenus
99% sure the woman in the photo is on an anti-depressant and/or statins. I have several loved ones that are obese. I'm all for making ppl feel comfortable in their skin, but let's not glamorize obesity, please. It is NOT healthy.  Supportive is fine. Encouragement is cruel.
Alvaro Gustavo
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Replying to @LittleMissLizz @GilletteVenus
No doctor needed to see that she obviously lives an unhealthy lifestyle,  it's sad to know the fact that she just gave up on herself and avoids hard work to become a better version of herself. Even sadder to see people like you supporting her weak habits.
Vinay Shaw
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Replying to @TheKingKratos @LittleMissLizz @GilletteVenus
This 👆. Fat acceptance is cool but this Gillette ad just glorifies obesity and ill health.
@petrel49
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Replying to @avonandsomer
Gillette making headlines again unfortunately for this woman she is making her own her vital organs under threat from visceral fat too many repercussions to list here her heart will stop unable to cope end of
Jeremy Fichaud
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Replying to @ItsGoneAwry
The picture isn't but their follow up tweet definitely is. Nobody w/ eyes & who's being honest thinks that person is physically beautiful. She's gravely unhealthy. Gillette is actively perpetuating the lie that being that overweight is fine & I find that profoundly irresponsible.

Never mind that fat does not automatically mean unhealthy. Never mind that thin people can be unhealthy. Never mind that diets can be so unhealthy as to be dangerous. And never mind that fat shaming is not only not an effective way to inspire people to lose weight — and often causes its targets to gain weight — it’s also a threat to their health, both mental and physical.

Of course, quite a few of the commenters didn’t even bother to pretend that their complaints had anything to do with health. Most were not terribly original with their insults.

ADAM  🤙
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@AdamGlover1872
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More ADAM  🤙 Retweeted Gillette Venus
Imagine finding a whale washed up on the beach and taking photos instead of trying to help it. Shameful from Gillette
Autism Caliphate
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Wow really insensitive of Gillette to show this poor beached whale in their advertisement. We have lost this endangered species too many times to this kind of neglect.

Other commenters pulled out all their favorite right-wing buzzwords for the occasion:

Andrew Breitbart’s Ghost  🇺🇸
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Replying to @shy_ferg @GilletteVenus
This is unhealthy. Period. But nice virtue signaling there @Gillette. How many Soy boys and Feminist with armpit hair do you employ nowadays??? Asking for my Liberal friend.
EpsilonLyrae
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Replying to @GilletteVenus
Wow. This is pathetic. Gillette gone full SJW. Wonder how the looks in your marketing department think they can survive with soy boys and whales as their core demographics
Seems that after trading male customers for hairless soyboys and  unshaving feminists, #Gillette has decided to focus on female customers who will die young.

Get woke, go broke

Some thought that this new ad, like Gillette’s “toxic masculity” ad in January, was really just a sneaky way to attack … men.

Governor-Megachris-Percent
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More Governor-Megachris-Percent Retweeted Andy Warski
It's at this point I feel like Gillette is just making these stupid ads to screw with men.  Critique the video of "toxic" masculinity = "misogyny," critique obese women bring promoted as "healthy" = "also misogyny."  Apparently only women are allowed to have opinions.
Federico Bezzi
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Replying to @GilletteVenus
Gender equality according to Gillette:

Men: change, you are a bad person

Women: you're obese? You're just perfect

Over on the always despicable Breitbart, which noted that in addition to Anna, Gillette has also used trans activist Jazz Jennings in recent ads, the commenters were a bit blunter.

StopCallingMe Shirley • 4 hours ago
How do you shave body parts you can't see?

147  
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Wouldn't it be nice  StopCallingMe Shirley • 3 hours ago
....or reach.

92  
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EricNV  Wouldn't it be nice • 3 hours ago
...by smell, of course.
Bob Wesley • 3 hours ago
Vomit on Gillette.
A pitiful company run by fagg0ts and other debris.
phillyguy • 3 hours ago
This is how communist poison is destroying America
jabba dabba • 2 hours ago
Goin from massive market to tiny niche market in a year. Grotesque pandering to the sloth and lustful degenerate scum of the earth. Hope they take the fat trans retards for all they’re worth just before the stock tanks and the company goes under.
Chip • an hour ago
No, there is NOT an issue with “toxic masculinity.” Masculinity is not toxic.

On the other hand, there IS an issue with liberal mental illness...which includes glorifying morbid obesity and the trans agenda. (Jazz’s parents should be thrown in prison for child abuse, and HE should be put in therapy in a mental hospital.)

I will NEVER buy a Gillette product again.

Well, I guess Gillette has started another “conversation,” as they like to say whenever they do something they know will provoke an angry mob. So sad that all it takes is a picture of a fat woman unapologetically wearing a bikini to unleash a wave of hate.

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Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@Lurker LXVII

I cannot speak for kupo, but in the US there is a stigma against being unhealthy. Here is a link discussing the same phenomenon growing in the UK. Note that the article is referring to extremely obvious illness such as flu: imagine it multiplied 1000x for something widely considered a moral failing such as obesity.

I believe, but cannot at this hour of the morning cite the reference, that this view of unhealthiness is a cultural holdover from Protestantism (possibly specifically Calvinism). I can have a go at it later after coffee, if you are interested.

In any case, while I believe that you meant no offense in using the descriptor “unhealthy”, it is in fact, in some cultures, a shaming term. If people were only stronger/better/not evil and deserving of punishment, they would be healthy, like normal God-fearing people.

I see. I’m not going to say that Sweden is 100% free of shaming people for being unhealthy, but it’s definitively not as stigmatized as in the US.

From personal experience, most swedes will not feel any problem discussing their ailments among their peers and it is a widely accepted fact that stuff like flu and norovirus can happen to anyone in the winter months, and among the elderly it’s considered strange not complaining about your ailments. That, and in Swedish culture openly confronting and criticizing someone to their face is considered one of the worst breaks in etiquette one could make.

That, and for centuries the only church allowed was the state church of Lutheranism, which doesn’t treat misfortune as a personal failing to any comparable degree to Calvinism.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Fat Chick
Welcome! Your post didn’t show up right away because if the auto-moderation, so I wasn’t ignoring you before. 😄

Juniper
Juniper
1 year ago

I think that cultural difference between believing that poor health is something that can happen to anyone vs. believing it’s a moral failing is a big reason why the U.S. doesn’t have universal healthcare.

I’ve gotten into arguments with conservatives about how they shouldn’t have to pay for other people’s healthcare because they take good care of themselves, and shouldn’t have to pay for people who don’t take good care of themselves.

Anyway, I wish that our views on obesity would *at least* go in the direction that drug addiction is going. I’m not convinced that it’s not unhealthy to be obese, but we need to get rid of the idea that it’s some kind of moral failing and instead understand that most of it is outside of your control and can’t just willpower your way out of it.

I’ve read in a few places that surgery is the only thing that actually works. My sister and best friend have both had gastric surgery and lost around 100 pounds each. It’s really expensive and seems really drastic though, and I worry there might be long-term effects that we don’t know about yet.

I just think it’s important to stick to the science here, and the science says that dieting doesn’t work for the vast majority of people. It wouldn’t even surprise me that seeing it as a moral failing could be hindering the science. After all, if “everyone already knows” that you gotta eat less pie, then why put a bunch of funding into studying what’s actually going on?

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

I’m not convinced that it’s not unhealthy to be obese

Again, these statements are harmful and not needed. Please stop. If you can’t see why it’s not needed, just replace the word “obese” with “tall” and see how it reads.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@Juniper

I think that cultural difference between believing that poor health is something that can happen to anyone vs. believing it’s a moral failing is a big reason why the U.S. doesn’t have universal healthcare.

Yes, I also think another big cultural difference is the law of Jante, basically people thinking that they are better than anyone else are looked down on instead of up to in Sweden. The downside is that many talented and creative people can feel stifled, but the upside is that people peddling self-help snakeoil has a lot harder to gain ground here, and people trying to paint their lives as perfect to outsiders are considered dishonest and boastful.

I’ve gotten into arguments with conservatives about how they shouldn’t have to pay for other people’s healthcare because they take good care of themselves, and shouldn’t have to pay for people who don’t take good care of themselves.

Maybe those people could use a dose of the Jante Law (but don’t overdo it), ask them what makes them think they’re so much better than the rest of us that they won’t ever need healthcare, and if they’re religious, tell them pride is a sin and they’re basically tempting God by acting so high and mighty, ripe to be taken down a peg if karma exists.

I just think it’s important to stick to the science here, and the science says that dieting doesn’t work for the vast majority of people.

No, from what I remember, recent findings suggests that there is no such thing as a universal ideal diet, instead it varies greatly from person to person and what makes one person lose weight could have the opposite effect on another, and when I say everyone has their own ideal diet, I speak in terms of what will most effectively give someone lasting energy whilst also agreeing with their stomach, and things like when you eat on the day and how often you eat are just as big factors. It’s basically a lottery as to what foods your body is meant for and no way to know beforehand.

I’m personally frustrated by the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day since I personally struggle to even get a small bowl of cereal down before noon and don’t feel any hunger whatsoever before well into the middle of the day, but often end up eating stuff in the afternoon.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

Wow, thank you, David. That was unexpected but definitely appreciated.

epitome of incomprehensibility

Yeah, it was a bit discouraging to see arguments here. And the tweet’s replies were worse.

Anyway, there are also health disadvantages to being thin – regular-thin, not underweight. I’m no expert, but from what I’ve heard, it puts you more at risk for some types of heart disease and makes it harder to keep on weight in old age.

The part that bothers me is that I can’t give blood (well, without fainting – I tried once). I’m like, “I could do this low-effort, useful thing if I just weighed more.”

Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

Thanks, David. Much appreciated.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
1 year ago

Thank you David!!!

Crys T
Crys T
1 year ago

Thank you, David.

Demonhype
Demonhype
1 year ago

I recall a big amount of hate on the 2016 Ghostbusters was that allowing Melissa McCarthy to have a career–at least, one that doesn’t revolve around her being the butt of fat jokes–was dangerous because it was “glorifying obesity” and it had nothing to do with sexism,just the concern that her career teaches children “unhealthy habits”.

To which I say: Where were these Guardians of Public Health regarding John Belushi. Or John
Candy. Or Chris Farley. Or Kevin Smith. Or Jack Black. Or Josh Gad. Or insert name of any other fat or even morbidly obese *male* entertainer of which there are many here. Never see any such concerns about glorifying obesity regarding these fat people being allowed to have a career much less exist in public. Nope, nothing concerning to see, just awesome funny guys with no problems at all.

When you do get any story chiding discrimination on looks, it’s invariably a guy who has the problem that should be looked past to see the beautiful person beneath, from Beauty and the Beast to Russell in Deadpool 2. Unless they’re casting an impossibly hot girl as ugly and trying to sell that by putting glasses and bad clothes on her, because God forbid we use an actually not traditionally “bonerific” woman, because those stories always run the route of the girl having to become hot to have any value or autonomy, because everyone knows women’s value is solely in their looks and there’s nothing of value, much less attraction, to see past those looks–if you’re female, your outside reflects the inside, and if there’s no beauty outside, there’s no beautiful person to see on the inside and no point trying to see past appearance.

/s for that last line, obviously.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@Demonhype

When you do get any story chiding discrimination on looks, it’s invariably a guy who has the problem that should be looked past to see the beautiful person beneath, from Beauty and the Beast to Russell in Deadpool 2.

I couldn’t agree more on that part, and it’s just insane how media teaches men that they will always find a hot girlfriend no matter how bad they look or act as long as they do one somewhat nice thing to her, whilst women are shown as incredibly cruel and shallow if they aren’t felling attracted to literal monsters. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a strong correlation with the last decades increase in pop-culture consumption and the last decades increase in incels.

And seriously, I can only think of one story about a man learning to love a woman who was genuinely ugly and not just a beautiful woman in some glasses and bad clothes, and that was the Wife of Bath’s Tale, which was written 600 years ago, and even there the story ends with her magically transforming into an impossibly beautiful fairy queen in the end.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I like the movie Angus because it actually points out this double standard a little bit. Angus is a teenaged boy who is fat and a bit depressed and angry. He has a huge crush on a popular and thin cheerleader. I forgot the character’s name, but she was played by the girl from the original Jurassic Park. The two wind up sort of becoming friends. He doesn’t “get the girl” in the end though. This is portrayed as a reasonable thing and the movie doesn’t try to get the audience to hate her. She’s a perfectly nice kid with problems of her own (bulimia and body image issues). When Angus is complaining to her about girls not liking him because of his looks, she points out to him that he only had such a big crush on her because of her appearance, not because he saw her inner beauty or anything. It’s pretty great.

Demonhype
Demonhype
1 year ago

@Scanisaurus

I think David Wong said that in a Cracked list “Ways men are trained to hate women”, that media teaches men that they are each owed a hot girl, and when it doesn’t happen that way, they feel betrayed and get mad.

Hairspray was good too. Kind of like the musical better than the original, which is rare for me. Original was too white savior and demonized the nasty hot girl too much when she was still a kid acting the way she was raised. In the musical she ultimately stands up to her mom and tells her.that this is where the future is going and she doesn’t want to be left out of it. But yeah, actually fat girl played by actually fat actress wins the heart of her dream prince without having to change herself or betray who she is. In fact, she breaks from him and jeapordizes her dance show position (which he’s not willing to do) to do right by her black friends, even though she really likes him, and that’s what makes him fall in love with her.

Maybe spoilers below?

I know Shallow Hal is…problematic (what with the hot thin actress in a fatsuit and him having to see her as hot to be able to fall in love with her and whatnot), but one thing I did like is that the woman (character) really is very fat and he is forced to make a decision to accept her as she is or lose her forever, and he chooses love and sees her as beautiful in her true form.

First of all, it contradicts that attitude that there is no beautiful person to see at all inside fat or ugly women so no point in bothering.

Second, it suggests that yes, a man can love a woman for who she is and find her desirable on that basis, no, men are not flaccid noodles unless a woman is an idealized and emaciated plastic doll and no, living a fat woman is perfectly valid and not a “fetish”. Guys screw visually suboptimal (by a traditional metric) women all the time (on Ravishly they have articles about fat girls who can get guys to spend time with them. and have sex and seem to like them,but refuse to go out in.public with them, seem in fact ashamed to, like being with a fat girl is a dirty embarrassing secret) but don’t want to be seen with them because they’ve been trained to see women like a fancy sports car that signifies status among males. To be seen with a substandard car or woman in public is to broadcast one’s inferiority and failure as a man to the world.

Also liked the non-sexualized elements of appearance judgment, such as when he realized the sweet little kids she introduced to him.were burn victims–implying that judging people on looks is more than just a sexual thing and hurts more people than you realize, and that not being a vision of traditional beauty is not a moral failing but is usually caused by factors outside of the person’s control (tie that back to her stating that her weight stays the same no matter how she eats). He’s run into other ladies he didn’t recognize without the hotness goggles, but this is the moment that really nails down the real impact of his kind of shallowness and what a selfish, if well-meaning, person he’s been and the need for him.to change the stunted way he thinks. Silly, but I always get weepy at that part, and Jack Black,for all his amusing buffoonery elsewhere, does a good job and carries the scene well imo.

And the guys she worked with that he was so jealous of not being the Adonises he thought they were (omg, surely shes sleeping with those Chads and must be toying with him like a bitch!). Or the even shallower friend admitting that his exacting and sexist standards on women were a reflection.of his own sense of inadequacy, in his case due to a hidden birth defect he was terrified to show a woman–which sounds very like some of these mra incel types. Can’t imagine people that hateful are actually happy with themselves.

So yeah, not perfect, but I think it does some parts right. And like Ghostbusters 2016, for all its flaws it has some good elements and ideas I’ve never gotten to see yet depicted or explored in other movies.

Demonhype
Demonhype
1 year ago

@weirwood

I’ll have to look.for that. Sounds like it’s more realistic and fair than most movies on.the subject. Amazing how few such films there are.

I remember the crying and whining that Quasimodo didn’t get Esmeralda in Disney’s Hunchback, with that implication that because he helped her, she owes him a sexual relationship and/or he, like every man,is owed a hottie just for being “nice”. I prefer that ending,and don’t approve of their efforts to “remedy” that by giving him a different hottie in the sequel. With the usual “oh, life is hard for me because I’m so hot,just like life is hard for you because youre so deformed, we’re perfect for each other because our situations are so uniquely identical and we can have a special.understanding!” Oh, the many sorrows of a conventionally attractive woman, so much worse than for anyone else! And god forbid Quasi get a girl who is maybe fat or not so pretty in the face who might actually have more in common with him, because only the loveliest lady in all the dale could possibly have the necessary experiences to understand the hardships of a hunchback! What would a fat or ugly girl know about being judged badly and mistreated for how you look?

Ugh.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@Demonhype
Indeed, that David Wong article was great at summing up the mindset of guys being sucked into the trap.

As for Shallow Hal, it was an OK movie, but I found it incredibly disappointing that they put Gwynweth Paltrow in a fatsuit instead of hiering a plus-size actress (and they could have used CGI to make her “pretty” just to drive home how unreal beauty ideals are).

I still think Disney’s the Hunchback of Notre Dame is the best movie on the subject, and it’s pretty stunning how well they nailed the hypocrisy and misogyny of Frollo, most of his lines are almost exactly like the stuff David documents here (only without cussing and typos). I dread to think what the online reactions would have been if Disney had released a movie featuring a corrupt white christian judge who’s openly racist and sexist as the villain and condemning his opinions whilst casting a disabled man and a roma woman in the lead roles…

It is kind of a sad irony that a G-rated 90’s Disney movie handled timely themes such as bigotry and sexual assault better than pretty much all “mature” TV and movie writers today do combined.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
1 year ago

@ Demonhype,

Now I have the soundtrack to that movie stuck in my head…

@ all,
I just read a novel called Dietland, by Sarai Walker, which I thought did a good job of deconstructing diet-culture and fat-shaming.

I have a question for the folks on here…not really sure how to phrase it so please bear with my ramblings. I’m a skinny person, and although I loathe diet culture and fat-shaming with a burning feminist passion, I’m not sure how/if/whether I should voice that. To be specific, I have a lot of friends who engage in very negative weight-talk, about themselves and sometimes about others. I want to say something, but I also want to stay in my lane… I always think it must seem very facile and simplistic for me to critique the diet-industry, since by and large I’m not affected by it personally.

I guess I feel like, this is not my struggle and I want to amplify the voices of those who do deal with this. At the same time, I want to be there for my friends, in a way that isn’t condescending or unhelpful or just plain wrong. (To make a comparison, I’d want my non-Muslim friends to speak up if they heard Islamophobia, and that includes hearing internalized Islamophobia by Muslims.)

No one owes me an explanation and I fully understand if you don’t want to/can’t, but if anyone on here feels able to reply, I would really appreciate it!

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Bookworm
That’s a tricky one. Weight is such a sensitive topic and people are so strongly invested in diet culture that I typically do not call out when people fat shame themselves. Instead, I make sure never to respond positively to discussions of weight loss, but will be supportive of discussions of health or feeling good or that kind of thing. Depending on the person I might throw in a “don’t be too hard on yourself” if they’re beating themseup over a donut or something, or I might tell them “you’ve always been beautiful” if they ask me directly if they look better after weightloss, that kind of thing.

Valkyrine
Valkyrine
1 year ago

@Bookworm in hijab
I’m not sure if this is applicable since I haven’t heard what kind of things your friends say, but in the cases where your friends talk negatively about the weight of others (than themselves), you could say stuff like “that’s not a very nice thing to say (about him/her/them)” or something to that effect.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

If someone who’s normally a kind person to others is trashing themselves, you can always ask them if they would ever talk about a friend they way they talk about themselves. Speaking negatively about oneself is so normalized, particularly for women, that people don’t always think of it that way.

Another thing that helps is to never, ever comment on anyone’s weight. Not in a negative way. But not in a positive way either. Likewise, never discuss dieting. When someone brings up dieting, be as distant as possible. I avoid the subjects of weight and dieting in casual conversation for purposes of self care and people don’t bring it up around me very often because I just don’t engage.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
1 year ago

@ wwth,

you can always ask them if they would ever talk about a friend they way they talk about themselves.

Thank you, that’s wonderful! I usually just sit there, uncomfortably silent (“not engaging”, as you say); I’ll try this next time.

Demonhype
Demonhype
1 year ago

@Scanisaurus

I totally agree, putting the hot girl in a fat suit is a big problem. What I was flubbing to say was that the saving grace is how the onus is never on her to lose weight or become hot in order to win him or be worthy of him, like every other such film, the onus is instead placed upon him to get over his b.s. view of the world for her and accept her as she is. The message is clear that the problem is entirely with him, and not with all the women failing to meet his exacting standards–kind of eerie how it almost predicts things like incels and MGTOW and the like and seems to point a finger at them. I don’t know that I have ever seen that happen anywhere else.