Zero-calorie this, zero-calorie that… I am really tired of the plethora of new “zero-calorie” products on the market. The market for them seems to be exploding as brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi join the fray. Sigh.
In the Fruitwater advertisement, we are presented with the word “BEAUTY” in big, bold lettering directly adjacent to the thin, blonde, pretty woman. To boot, you have the very obvious and eye-catching, “Zero calories per bottle” logo.
These advertisements are designed to socially “educate” us so that we should all strive to meet the beauty standard that the blonde woman in the advertisement represents—thin, sculpted, flawless—and that the way for us to meet this ideal is to deprive ourselves of “real” food and consume zero or low-calorie alternatives instead.
It tells us that if we don’t choose the zero-calorie choice, we won’t be able to achieve beauty — that it is the ONLY way to go.
With advertisements like this, the brain subconsciously makes the connection between zero-calorie products and beauty, reinforcing the message that advertisements are designed to send. And, with so many of these advertisements on the market now, it is an almost endless cycle of promises that is hard to escape, especially for those who struggle with accepting their body.
Ultimately, this is where these products gain their power and influence over us, and why they tend to be so successful.
For many, the desire to fit the beauty expectations shown in the media, and the promises that these products seem to make, lead them to buy into what the advertisements are promising—achieving these beauty ideals—which in hindsight, is completely unrealistic.
The reality from my perspective: You’re not healthy or beautiful because you consume zero-calorie products; you’re not unhealthy or ugly if you do not.
Advertisements that tout this message are off-base, misleading consumers, and warping reality. It is my opinion that you are better off eating the real thing than putting products with questionable alternatives in them into your body. Enough said.
What is your take on the zero-calorie craze?
Katelin Jordan is a recent university graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies, with concentrations in Sociology and Communications. She currently works as a clinical research assistant at the VA Healthcare System. She is the proud pet-parent of her two year-old Manx-shorthair mix cats, Chocolate Chip and Oreo.