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Essay: The Demoralizing Portrayal of Kim Kardashian in John Weinstein’s Quick Trim Ad

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  • Subject area(s): Sample essays
  • Reading time: 4 minutes
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  • Published: 1 October 2019*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 994 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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Dear Mr. John Weinstein,

This letter has reference to the ad in which you use the supermodel Kim Kardashian for the promotion of your Quick Trim diet supplements. I want to draw your attention to the abominable way you have portrayed the model by showing her in an obscene pose which is not only unethical but also an attack on the image of women in the global society.

The image of a woman in the world is that of a homemaker, a teacher, a governess, a matron, and a nurse. They hold a very high and prominent position in our society and are an embodiment of values, virtues and purity. It grieves my heart to see how you have subverted the image of a woman by casting her in the stereotyped role of a temptress, seductress, and a ravishing woman.  

Looking at the ad it can be seen that you have used a large capitalized font in white color for the title of the ad. Your emphasis is solely on the words, “weight loss goals” and “FAST,” shows that for you reaching your destination is important, regardless of how you reach it. The use of ellipses after the word, weight loss goals shows how you engage the consumers with the implicit meanings and images associated with the word, “weight loss.” The way the purple color has been used for the bikini and the products creates an  image of luxury meant only for rich people. Even the setting of the advertisement on the beach conveys that if you have a good body only then you can go to the beach, a vision of paradise. There is much more than meets the eye; it looks like more than promoting your products, you are trying to magnetize the consumers through the ravishing, captivating and beautiful figure of this model saying, "I have reached my goal".

It seems that you are cashing in on the success of the celebrity to give credibility to your products. This sexual objectification sends a negative message about the image of a woman in the society. What does weight loss have to do with the exposure of a woman? The color scheme also highlights the sex motif of the ad since a bare woman has been shown, scantily wrapped in a piece of purple cloth.

In this age, which is inundated with advertising, you focus on a woman who has “impossibly long legs, a waist so small it would make a Barbie doll jealous, and bosom and hips that are pert, gravity-defying miracles.1” You seem to be using the model in the same stereotyped roles, thereby sending a very negative message about the character, integrity and image of a woman across the globe. While sexiness is not harmful in itself, it can be shown using a model in a tracksuit. Exposing physical beauty is superficial and redundant in the sex motif your ad is based upon. The message that a woman’s worth is measured by her appearance and sexual appeal encourages male sexual violence towards women through a rape culture, wherein a commoditized woman is seen as nothing more than a fodder for the desires of consumers, particularly male consumers. Nobody is perfect in this world and this ideal woman shown in the ad is tall, slim, and is free of wrinkles, blemishes and pores. Through these ads you are harboring an illusion in the minds of the women that they can be like this photo-shopped image.

This ad can have an adverse effect on the psyche of women and seriously jeopardize and undermine their fight for equality in our culture. Such ads have serious repercussions as they create feeling of depression, appearance anxiety, body shame, development of anorexia, bulimia and other serious eating disorders in women. One of the most detrimental consequences of such kinds of ads is that young girls start viewing their bodies from an outsider’s perspective. In the words of Jean Kilbourne, “many women feel pressured to conform to the beauty standards of our culture and are willing to go to great lengths to manipulate and change their faces and bodies.2” And in order to imitate the image of an ideal woman, girls are tempted to try dangerous supplements, plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, facelift and silicon implants. This creates a number of physical, mental and social disorders in the personality of young and preadolescent girls.

Such ads severely affect the psyche of a man also since they imprint a very hot, sexy and ravishing image of a woman in the mind of a man. A man will definitely feel tempted by the curves and cuts of this actress and start cherishing such an ideal woman, which is nothing but a Photoshop image for himself. The impact of these ads is such indelible on man that they start comparing women in the society with this model. The way a man stares at a woman causes mental and psychological embarrassment for a woman.

Last but not the least, the products you are advertising are not good for the health of a woman. In an article published in US News,  “Angela Haupt and Deborah Kotz3” say that marketing claims about the products were "false, misleading, and unsubstantiated." They added that there was "no competent and reliable scientific evidence supporting any of these claims.4"

The Quick Trim product catalogue admits that the “products also contain a lot of artificial ingredients and stimulatory agents that may produce side effects like increased heart rates, insomnia and mood swings.6” However this revelation is printed in such small fonts, at the bottom of your advertisement, that it is virtually impossible to read it. I request you to stop using women as sex tools for your products which are not a guarantee for cutting the fat and also conveying that external beauty is much more important that internal health. There is no magic formula or a 14-day diet that can change a woman into Kim Kardashian.

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