Weight Watchers Australia Launches Campaign Implying Weight Impacts How Baller Your Sex Life Is & The Internet Is Firing Back
Let’s be clear about something: Your weight does not determine the quality of your sex life. People of all sizes have fantastic sex, and if they don’t, it’s for reasons a lot more complex than “body shape.” But a new Australian Weight Watchers campaign linking weight and sex seems to suggest otherwise, and the internet is not having it. Body shaming is rampant and damaging in all walks of life — the last place anyone needs it is in the bedroom.
Weight Watchers in Australia is launching a new campaign called “Weight Watchers Black,” the first Weight Watchers campaign to focus on sex. Last week, the company sent promotional gifts to female journalists that included a light bulb inside a box with the following message:
Let's be honest for a minute, sex is pretty damn fantastic.
But if you've ever felt self-conscious in the sack you're not alone — we've heard that more than half of women have avoided sex because they were worried about how they look.
This globe is a ‘mood light’ designed to give you a little boost in the bedroom (a PG sex toy, if you will).
We hope it helps you start seeing yourself in a new light — to love how you look and love how you feel. Search Weight Watchers Black.
As the above Tweet from Guardian editor Bridie Jabour suggests, recipients were less than thrilled.
Weight Watchers also released a promo video about the new campaign, in which women talk about their insecurities in the bedroom. “We never had sex completely naked because I couldn’t stand the thought of him seeing all of me,” one woman recalls, shrouded in darkness. “I hated the way I looked [after having kids],” another says. But then the lights come on, and the women talk about how confident they are now and how much they enjoy sex now — the “now” presumably being after becoming Weight Watchers members.
Of course, a lot of women (and men, too) feel insecure about their bodies and anxious in sexual situations, and trying to help them feel more confident and happy in their sex lives is, in general, a positive thing. But I think this campaign is rubbing people the wrong way because of where it locates the source of that insecurity. By its very nature as an advertisement for a weight loss company, this ad seems to be saying, “If you’re uncomfortable in bed, it’s because of your weight.” The light bulb packaging seems to implicitly suggest that “seeing yourself in a new light” and “lov[ing] how you look” begins with losing weight. And that in turn implies that if you don’t lose weight, your negative feelings about sex are somehow justified. (And it doesn’t seem to take into account the fact that plenty of ladies of all sizes have kickass sex regardless of their weight, thank you very much.)
Weight Watchers has responded to the criticism by admitting that, without the context of the full Weight Watchers Black campaign, the light bulb promo might not have been received the way it was intended. “As we launched, we launched in stages and that has fuelled the conversation without context,” Weight Watchers’ senior marketing manager Rebecca Melville told Mumbrella.