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November 15, 2010

Okay, beer companies, enough is enough . . .

I must begin by saying that this is one of the most horrific ads I've seen in my entire life, and I spend a great deal of time searching for sexist and otherwise degrading ads to show at my women's rights club Real Beauty Revolution. The purpose of this ad, made clear by the (tiny) bottle in the lower right-hand corner, is to sell Coopers Beer. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that beer will always sell, regardless of whether or not it's heavily advertised, so this ad causes one to wonder how the Coopers Beer company can get away with printing something so blatantly disrespectful towards women. Most notably: overweight women.

If you haven't quite grasped the ad's concept (as it took me a minute to understand the first time I laid eyes on it), the miniscule caption in the lower corner reads: "Only 29% alcohol." In the bulk of the ad we see a woman, but not really; she's more of a hybrid, a ridiculous photo-shopped illusion of a woman. Her head is that of a young blonde (no doubt the representation of "beauty" here) and the rest is the body of a larger woman. Get it? 29% alcohol, 29% "hot chick"? This can also be read as: "when the women in your life aren't attractive enough, just take a swig of Coopers Beer and you'll be seeing [insert Hollywood actress here] in no time!

Another ridiculous ad for
Coopers Beer. The message
here?"Some women are so
unattractive, only balloon-ish
breasts would save them."
This ad is clearly aimed at men, as I don't know what woman could stand looking at it for more than five seconds without puking. Whoever created this ad obviously has no regard for the plight many women go through about their bodies, and is exploiting a barbaric stereotype that bigger women are "ugly" to get a cheap laugh. I hope you don't think biases are clouding my judgment when I say whoever created this ad is immature, malicious, and downright cruel.

Ads that aim to sell a product are usually predictable: their main message (argument) is to sell their product, and everything else is subtle, subliminal, or an afterthought. This ad, however, seems to be flip-flopped in that it's prominent, in-your-face message is "fat women are unattractive." Only after the audience gathers that fact do they realize the ad is for beer (the product is shoved into a lowly corner, after all). This is in incredibly bad taste, and just one of countless reminders that women are stigmatized each and every day for the way they look. It's bad enough that women are subjected to constant criticism from diet pill companies and late-night ads for exercise equipment like the Ab Circle Pro ("Not only will your Ab Circle Pro help you Lose Your Love Handles, it will help you workout and slim down your buns, hips, and thighs, too!"), but when this same sense of body-shaming is carried over to unrelated products like beer - it makes me wonder when people will finally step up and say enough is enough.

 If you'd like to unleash your rage on the Coopers Beer company, you can find their contact information here.