KeyBank – Banking on Diet Culture

Diet culture is so ingrained in our current culture and daily lives that we run the risk of forgetting that it is very seriously messed up. So I think it’s important to point it out when we see it – like this:

This ad is pretty standard diet bullshit – it has your undressed salad surrounded by artfully placed food that is meant to appeal to the idea of food moralization, it has your measuring tape (though, being wound around the fork is, perhaps, a new low.) It even has the re-naming of stuff to make it seem less diet-y (see also “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change!” meaning you change to a lifestyle where you diet all the time.”)

Keybank diet add

But there’s another layer of awful here. Because this isn’t a diet ad. It’s the sign-in screen for KeyBank.

Keybank Full

This is what reader Ziggy found when trying to login. And remember, it’s not just perpetuating dieting, it’s also possibly triggering an eating disorder. To login. To your bank account. WT Actual F Keybank?

Here’s my favorite part – if they are equating dieting to your financial goals, what they are saying is that they offer almost no chance of success. So, good job there, KeyBank marketing officials.

Now may be a good time to remind ourselves that diet culture is ubiquitous, and dangerous, and totally bullshit. And we should not be  Here are some options for dealing with it (besides, you know, screaming into the void, which is also completely valid.)

What are the worst places that you’ve seen diet used as a metaphor like this? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “KeyBank – Banking on Diet Culture

  1. I think the worst (not very current any more) was “lean and mean” used as praise for companies. It seemed to be encouragement for firing people or not hiring enough of them.

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=%22lean+and+mean%22&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2C%22%20lean%20and%20mean%20%22%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2C%22%20lean%20and%20mean%20%22%3B%2Cc0

    “Lean and mean” hit its peak in 1996 and have been tailing off sinse.

    1. That is still pretty current in manufacturing, lean manufacturing is (as I understand it) the practice of hiring barely or even not enough employees to cover a shift so people have to work harder for no extra pay to get the same thing done. I’m job hunting now and I try to avoid companies that talk about that, but it’s disturbingly common for it to be proudly mentioned in job ads or interviews.

  2. Ragen- another great blog. My favorite line: “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change!” meaning you change to a lifestyle where you diet all the time.” Hope it’s OK if I steal it and use it all of the time!

  3. Example #294,085 of “resolution” being used as a euphemism for “diet.” At this rate, it’s going to join “fit” and “healthy” on the list of words that lost all useful lexical meaning after the diet industry got ahold of them.

  4. Dave Ramsey (the personal finance guru) often compares (favorably) budgeting to dieting. He uses imagery, as he speaks, which is really offensive IMHO. I applaud the whole getting out of debt thing, but I have a hard time listening when he goes on about fat.

    NOTE – many people criticize the quality of his advice. When his name his mentioned. I often see a donnybrook start on comments pages.
    Many such critiques are well-founded. Whether or not his advice is good, bad, or indifferent isn’t relevant within this context.

  5. Can’t add anything. Still reeling from the banks that have coffee shops in them to encourage millennials to use them. Apparently the newest hippest financial institution comes with raisins.
    New job title Bankerista? Jeeze people, just give me a good return and free checking and I’ll choose my own beverages and snacks…

  6. That super sucks. I can’t think of any ads. For me budgeting means I don’t actually have enough money so I have to pick and choose. I suppose in that sense it is like being on a diet, since you are can only have a certain amount of something, so you have to pick and choose.

    What I have never understood is associating breaking a diet by ‘cheating’. If cheating is acting dishonestly, aren’t you just being dishonest with yourself? Why would you want that in your life?

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