Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Weight and Feminist Ire

We love string cheese. Being thrifty (cheap), I buy whatever brand is cheapest based on sales and coupons. Recently, we've been eating Frigo Cheese Heads. The individual packages promote various characters from The Incredibles. Each cheese stick has a different character and interesting factoid about the character's particular talents or attributes -- like some male character who is so cool, he says "Freeze" to the bad guys before he freezes them.

Well, on my cheese stick package, I see a lovely picture of an animated young woman. The accompanying text says:

Elastigirl is 5'8" tall and weighs 125 pounds. Her power is

Why do we get the height and weight of this character? I reviewed the contents of the entire package (and a big package it is) and there is no other height or weight measurement given for any other character, and there are a couple of different packages for each character. We don't need to know her dimensions in order to understand that her superpower is to stretch -- you could do that at any height and weight if you could do it at all.

Who is the target market of this product? Thirty-something moms? Yeah, I'm going to ask my kids if I can go see The Incredibles. I'm thinking its targeted to a younger demographic, one that is perhaps very weight sensitive? [Hello my anger. Breathing in, I smile at you, breathing out, I embrace you.....nope, not working]

I am outraged at this. First of all, I don't think 125 is a reasonable weight for most 5'8" women, its very skinny. I'm an inch shorter and was about that weight right before I got married because I couldn't stand my law school roommate and spent all my time in the gym and eating frozen vegetable stir-fries. While I enjoyed feeling skinny, I knew I looked peaked. One friend of mine figured I was thin because of stress, which I took to mean I didn't look healthy and good. Granted, I was 26 at the time, so its not too off the wall that a teenager might be this skinny. But what about the ones who aren't? I think this package might as well list the urls for the Ana (anorexia) and Mia (bulimia) websites.


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