Jessica Simpson has a new commercial for Weight Watchers and it’s surprisingly body-positive. Even though, you know, it’s a commercial for a company that wants to take your money in order to teach you how to make yourself thinner.
Entitled “This Body,” the ad shows J. Simpson cavorting around in a sexy black dress and saying things she likes about her body, including that it carried two children. She says, “I love this body and what’s capable of, no matter what size.” She says, “My body, like my life, is a work in progress.”
Well, ok! I’m on board with this, more or less. It’s certainly a better way of looking at weight loss and weight loss management than like, weirdly Photoshopped before-and-after pics or personal stories about how ashamed and terrible a person felt when they were overweight. Jessica looks healthy, she’s smiling, she seems relatable.
Jessica’s last round of media attention for her weight loss and work with Weight Watchers was also more body-positive than not, so I feel like things are moving in a good direction, both for Weight Watchers and hopefully for weight loss advertisements as a whole. People, especially women, are losing patience with the body-shaming and body-negativity that pervades our media. We want to see different types of bodies and we want those different types of bodies to be celebrated for their very differences. Obviously, Weight Watchers isn’t going to ever say “Hey, it’s ok to be fat!” but by changing the rhetoric of the way their spokespeople, like Jessica, discuss their own bodies, the company is contributing in a small way to making culture just a bit more body-positive.
Of course, no matter how body positive the language and tone is, it’s still an ad for a weight loss company. And when you’re selling weight loss, the implicit argument is that being overweight is bad. There’s a little of that in Jessica’s ad, like when she talks about liking “this version” (aka the thin version) of her body. Still, as I said, I’d way rather see weight loss peddled in this fashion than in the sketchy way that seems common with lots of other companies. Baby steps, you know?
Photo: Getty Images North America