Today I saw a commercial for a line of diet alcohol that had the tag line “drink like a lady”. That activated my eye-roll reflex so violently I was worried that I was going to damage my vision. There are so many things wrong with this.
I am exhausted as it is by all of the products trying to increase their market share by promising not that their food or beverage is tasty or nutritious, but that it will help us manipulate our body size (despite a complete and utter lack of evidence). One of the things that I do as activism is to never buy a product with a weight loss message. It’s ridiculous – “diet” versions of everything from cereal to soda, their packaging covered with empty promises – “Lose 20 pounds in 10 minutes by eating this chemical shitstorm version of real food!” I sort of can’t believe that people are still pimping that speech.
And now a woman owned company chooses to make their money by trying to convince women that if we want to be a “lady” we even have to drink diet booze. It’s not new – I remember my Atkins friends loading up on Vodka and low carb Red Bull and my Weight Watchers friends calculating the points value of a rum and diet Coke. Now we can get drunk supporting a company that tells us that a “lady” should never, ever not be thinking about her weight. Getting a drink to relax, they want us to know, should not include relaxing the constant calorie counting and diet mentality that defines us as “ladies.”
Another of their tag lines is “cocktails without the guilt.” I think that “guilt free!” food is even worse that “diet!” food. One of the best things that I gave up in my journey from an eating disorder to a healthy relationship with food was the concept of guilt. If I decide to have some ice cream I choose ice cream made with ingredients that I can discern without pulling out my college chemistry book or my copy of the periodic table. I eat the ice cream, enjoy the ice cream and move on with my life, unlikely to think about the ice cream again. If I choose a salad the same steps apply. I spent a LOT of time feeling guilty about what I ate, what I didn’t eat, what I wanted to eat even if I didn’t, and no good came of it. A guilt free cocktail is one that you drink and then don’t choose to feel guilt over. Guilt free does not have to be about spending more on some special product, and you don’t need a special product or anyone else’s permission to eat and drink without guilt.
I’m not against people selling products (I’ll be pimping my new book and blog membership at the end of this post and I’m not guilty about that either). I am against companies trying to take our self-esteem, cheapen it, and sell it back to us at a profit. This guilt free lady is calling bullshit on that.
Pre-Order the Book!
You have until this Sunday to preorder the book and get free shipping and an autographed copy.
On July 9th the hard copy will go up for sale including shipping and without the autograph, and the low cost e-book will also become available.
Become a Member, Support The Work!
I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or a you can support my work with a one-time contribution. The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post. Thanks for reading! ~Ragen