Skinnygirl cocktails sounds like a great idea at first (to some) but I’m not buying it (figuratively and literally). The existence of these low-cal beverages, always marketed toward women, contribute to the larger cultures of reinforcing gender binaries, body shaming, and the diet industry.
This type of gendered marketing is frequently based on false stereotypes that are not only harmful to the group the marketing targets, but also to others and their perceptions of that group. Marketing something such as a beverage toward a specific gender reinforces gender binaries, keeping men and women trapped inside of limiting roles that the media and society attempt to set for us.
Skinnygirl is obviously marketed toward women. Created by Bethenny Frankel, a reality show personality and natural foods chef, the name alone has a lot to say. A “skinny” girl is what the media tells females we should always aspire to be. Infinite advertisements suggesting that skinny is the only way to be beautiful shame those who don’t fall into that skinny category into constantly obsessing over achieving these unrealistic beauty standards.
And the way these beverages are gendered is ultimately objectifying. She even refers to her most recent creations as “the new girls.” Which also makes me ask, are any other women out there tired of being referred to as “girls?” I’d like to think that if I’m old enough to legally drink alcoholic beverages, I’m also old enough to be referred to as a woman, and not a girl.
According to the web site, “When [Bethenny] found out just how high in calories restaurant margaritas were, she saw an incredible opportunity: Give women a low-calorie version of the cocktail that didn’t sacrifice fresh, delicious taste.” It really irks me that it is constantly assumed that women want lower-calorie versions of everything we consume.
When I get together with friends for adult beverages, the last thing on my mind is the calorie content of the drinks I’m consuming. I’m in it for the fun and good times, for socializing with other people, and definitely not to be body-shamed into consuming instead an alcohol with the label “Skinnygirl” across it, to spare myself a few calories.
Of course it is great to be health conscious, but these types of beverages are directly linked to the dangerous presence of the diet industry and body-shaming in the media. Women are constantly bombarded with images in the media showing and telling us exactly what we are supposed to look like, while also showing and telling us what to buy in order to obtain that image. Enter Skinnygirl. You don’t have to give up your favorite adult beverages for the sake of remaining skinny! Just drink Skinnygirl beverages instead!
Think Skinnygirl has nothing to do with the diet industry? Bethenny’s blog tells us that Skinnygirl Cocktails have now partnered up with Weight Watchers. Your Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo is now part of the Weight Watchers point system. The diet industry, ladies and gentlemen.
Keep in mind that we vote with our dollars every time we make a purchase. If you don’t support constricting gender roles, body shaming, or the harsh diet industry, don’t buy Skinnygirl Cocktails.