It's amazing no one thought of it before -- put a drink that's designed to keep you thin in a thinner can than its chunky competitors. Diet Pepsi finally did, with its new "skinny can," and while I find it quite brilliant, others want it canned.
Marketed as a "celebration of beautiful, confident women," the new svelte can, which was introduced during the currently ongoing New York Fashion Week, has been condemned for reinforcing negative female stereotypes and even encouraging eating disorders. Of course the models walking the runway during this famous week have been accused of the same, so it's not surprising that a beverage with a thin-to-win message would be blasted as well. It is, however, a bit ridiculous though.
The National Eating Disorders Association calls the can's message "thoughtless and irresponsible." Lynn Grefe from the organization told the Wall Street Journal that it "could trigger someone who is already vulnerable to negative body-image issues to start dieting or become more extreme in their dieting, which could eventually lead to disordered eating."
In a press release, Grefe stated:
It is painful that a major Fortune 500 company needs to denigrate the majority of women in this country to sell their products. Most women are not skinny, nor should we encourage them to be anything but their own personal healthy size. The focus should be on health. Pepsi should be ashamed for declaring that skinny is to be celebrated.
Yes, eating disorders are devastating and tragic diseases we must work to prevent, but there are a lot more people out there suffering from diabetes, heart disease, and other effects of obesity. Experts say even a few pounds over our healthy body weight can be harmful to our health, so skinny in most cases is both healthy and beautiful, and there's nothing wrong with saying so. And what of the word "diet" plastered right there on the side of all diet soda cans? Why is a skinny latte okay?
And really, if a "skinny" can is able to make us rethink our order of fries with that soda, then props to the can. I doubt it has that power, but if people are so worried about the power of its message, then we should bottle it and try to use it to motivate the overweight American masses instead of trying to can it (pun totally intended).
It's time we stop blaming the media and its messages for women's poor self image and figure out instead how we can be strong enough internally to let them roll off of us like they should. Saying we can't gives them way too much power.
Pepsi says the new design is about style, and really, soda cans have been stuck in a design rut for quite some time now. Besides a new logo here and there, they've relatively remained the same old chubby cylinders for decades. So a new refined version, in line with some of the hipper energy drinks of today, seems past due and bound to make all the other fat cans out there horribly jealous.
The only real problem I see with the new Diet Pepsi cans, which will be available nationwide in March, is how they're going to fit in a car's cup holder without rattling around and spilling. Of course, I'm a Diet Coke drinker anyway, so it doesn't really matter.
What do you think of the new "skinny" Diet Pepsi can?
Image via prnewswire
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