I’m a believer in Dan Savage’s ‘monogamish’ or ‘pre-negotiated exceptions’ so I’m not morally against AshleyMadison.com. I am however quite offended by their advertising. It doesn’t get more male gaze-y than this.
I’ve seen this ad for a while and just had a bad feeling about it but Jaqueline, the plus size model who posed for this picture two years ago (not knowing this was how it would be used of course), explained the worst part about it to Jezebel:
these images aren’t just about mocking large women; they’re about policing all women’s bodies:
A size 2 woman who sees this ad sees the message: “If I don’t stay small, he will cheat”. A size 12 woman might see this ad and think “if I don’t lose 30lbs, he will cheat”. A size 32 woman could see this ad, and feel “I will never find love”.
Thus, all women are told that they are perpetually in competition with all other women for the sexual attention and approval of men, and always on the verge of being ridiculed for the failure to meet impossible standards of feminine attractiveness.
And also from Jaqueline:
It’s bad enough that a business exists that encourages and profits from cheaters, but, worse still, that they have the gall to blame a woman’s body on the act, rather than the man who is incapable of commitment and loyalty. It exists in the same school of thought in which a rapist blames a woman’s outfit for his crime.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Slut shaming, body shaming. Same s**t, different smell.
I think it’s also worthy of note that this woman who happens to be a size 32 loves her body and is a small business owner. The ad reduces her to an X for failing to meet the iron maiden standards but in real life she is a smart multifaceted woman, much like the other women of all sizes who are shamed by this ad.
AshleyMadison.com is just stepping on a few thousand women’s faces to make a few bucks.