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Diet Pepsi's New 'Skinny' Can: Offensive?

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As mothers, we try to protect our daughters from the media's perpetuation of a negative body image. Does Diet Pepsi's new "Skinny Can" cross the line?

Diet Pepsi

Diet Pepsi debuted a new "Skinny Can" (standing at six inches tall) at this week's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC, and while it doesn't hit grocery shelves until March, it's already stirring up strong opinions from one health group.

According to Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association, "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. Grefe continues in a press release, "Pepsi should be ashamed for declaring that skinny is to be celebrated."

In the original press release announcing the slimmer can, PepsiCo Chief Marketing Officer Jill Beraud says "Diet Pepsi has a long history of celebrating women through iconic fashion imagery seen in our infamous and historical campaigns, and we're proud to continue that tradition as an official sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week," adding, "Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today's most stylish looks, and we're excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world."

Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large of Barneys, who is currently participating in an art installation promoting the can, said in a Forbes interview, "Oh, it's so silly. 'Skinny' refers to objects -- skinny can, skinny latte -- not people."

Now, along with the can and its message being criticized, the print ads -- starring "Modern Family" actress Sofia Vergara -- are being questioned. AOL's writes, "Sofia Vergara's famous curves are hidden in a new ad campaign." She "looks downright skinny in the ad that features her bony shoulder at an insane angle and toned down chest."

What do you think? Is it all just a silly brouhaha over a soda can, or do you think these ads perpetuate a negative body image?

As an aside, in case you're attached to a traditional short and fat product -- no need to worry. A Pepsi spokeswoman confirmed the old model will remain on shelves, according to CNN.

next: The Valentine's Day Loser
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
zandhmom February 15, 2011, 7:10 AM

This is crazy! I haven’t heard the feminist group come out against Big Gulps, Whoppers, Thick crust pizza or so many other products that refer to something big, so why do they have a problem with something that is skinny. Is it really wrong now to call something or someone skinny? Jeez people, get a LIFE!!!

Sarah B February 15, 2011, 7:40 AM

Seriously, it says DIET on the side! If you don’t want to give your daughter a complex about being thin, maybe not have things that say DIET on them in your home. How stupid are people these days…

Cwyatt February 15, 2011, 11:03 AM

I want a skinny can. It’s cute.

Alexis February 15, 2011, 11:27 AM

If skinny pepsi is offensive to people, than slim tampos should be offensive. This is a whole lot of nothing.

Aprilcot26 February 15, 2011, 12:29 PM

Wow. People really find THE most ridiculous things by which to be offended. It looks like a Red Bull can. Big deal!

Melinda February 15, 2011, 1:02 PM

its about the same size as a redbull can.. or if u remember the tab soda.. can.. i thinks its crazy to make this much commotion over a can

joanna February 15, 2011, 1:28 PM

I love the new Pepsi can. I myself am a chubby, but thye skinny can doesn’t affect me one way or another.

Julie February 15, 2011, 2:27 PM

It doesn’t bother me but I’d find it inconvenient. I wouldn’t buy it because it wouldn’t fit into the soda ledge in my fridge and it would tip right out of a car’s cup holder. Not really practical, I’ll stick with diet coke.

Anonymous February 15, 2011, 5:50 PM

Does this mean I should be offended by slim tampons?

Steve February 16, 2011, 2:54 AM

At around six inches and slimmer than an ordinary can, I’m surprised it’s not putting more chicks “in the mood.”

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