Sex Toy Company’s Failed Fat-Shaming Ad

Say Something SundayA sex toy company created an ad featuring a fat woman in a bra, panties and fishnets with the caption “Make the right decision.”  It turns out that people were not impressed with the idea a company would think it was ok to suggest that you should buy their toy rather than have sex with a fat woman.

Sex educator Sunny Megatron responded to their instagram post:

Considering the importance of body positivity and anti-shaming in the sex positive community, one would think you wouldn’t use these offensive tactics to get sales… Go rethink your marketing and your ethic
Others took up the cause and the hashtag #DONTgetfifi was born.  The company actually did make the right decision, pulling the ad and the instagram post.
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I’m not going to spend a bunch of time talking about why this ad is so completely and totally fucked up because I think it should be blatantly obvious. I’m telling you this because today is Say Something Sunday and I want to remind you that saying something often works.  And not just on the target.  In this case it worked swiftly and directly and the company took down the ad and instagram post. But saying something works in lots of other ways as well – many of which we never know about.
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Other companies see this kind of thing happen and decide not to run fat-shaming ads.  Fat people who aren’t sure if we deserve to be the but of jokes (spoiler alert – NO, WE DON’T) see these responses and get the message that they don’t deserve to be treated like this and that there are people standing up to this mistreatment.  People who aren’t yet comfortable standing up to fat shaming see other people doing it and are encouraged to add their voices. And of course there’s the fact that it can empower us to engage in activism regardless of the outcome.
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When we say something against injustices in the world we can’t know, or control, the results.  The only thing we can control is our own actions.  We are never obligated to say anything, and we may always choose to take a pass on activism for any reasons, but we can always choose to say something. So today I’d love for you to leave a comment about a time that you spoke up, and/or a time that you saw somebody say something against injustice and were positively affected by it.
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If you want to support a sex-positive project that is coming from a truly inclusive place, check out the Respect Our Sex campaign.
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Published in: on December 6, 2015 at 11:48 am  Comments (11)  

11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I posted a lovely interview with Gabourey Sidibe on my Facebook wall. Underneath I wrote a comment explaining what Say Something Sunday was all about. I’m slowly coming around to being braver about posting things on Facebook. This week I left a professional group there when they posted an article about the “six different kinds of obesity.” Now I feel that I was a bit cowardly – I should have spoken up instead of fleeing. But I know I should be self compassionate. Courage in the face of the constant negativity is a skill that needs to be nurtured just like anything else.

    • Personally, I don’t think you should feel cowardly. Sometimes silence and stepping away can be just as powerful as using a bullhorn and screaming at the top of your lungs. I feel it was very brave of you to put your own emotional needs first rather than let others abuse you simply because you didn’t want to cause ripples in the pond. *HUGS!*

      • A silent exit can speak volumes, especially if you were chatty before.

        Also, always take care to use your spoons wisely. If it’s something for which you have the time, energy, and emotional strength to deal AT THE TIME, then go for it. If not, it’s OK to give it a pass or delay dealing with it, or maybe tell someone else who might have the spoons to deal with it for you.

        The better you take care of yourself and your current needs, the longer you’ll be around, and the more you’ll be able to do in the long run. Even if all you can do is teach a few people in the next generation. After all, they may have oodles of spoons, and be able to pick up the banner with pride and gusto.

        TL/DR: Take care of yourself and pick your battles.

  2. Hi Ragen. You meant caption in the first paragraph, right? At first I was trying to puzzle out if Captain Make the Right Decision was something like Captain Obvious or Captain Morgan. After the third read through it finally clicked. Shows the power of advertising doesn’t it. 😀 Thanks for all you do. Your blog always lifts me up when I need it.

    • Yes! It’s fixed now, thanks so much for the proofreading help and the kind words!

  3. They should fire their marketing team, after all you’d think since they think fat women are sooooo unfuckable that they’d be marketing to us rather than against us!

    • No kidding! I mean, if we can’t get a real human being partner, you’d think we’d be shelling out all kinds of money to sex toy companies. But not to THAT sex toy company.

      I mean, I don’t, but that’s for other reasons.

      It makes about as much sense as a cookie company using fat-shaming in its advertising, or misogynistic adverts for perfume and make-up, traditionally female things. Although, yeah, that sort of ridiculous back-firing advertising has been around for ages, hasn’t it?

  4. I would have read that as “Buy a toy instead of settling for someone who doesn’t appreciate you.” But I frequently re-write things in my head to my favor…

  5. I wonder if the woman in the ad knew how her image was going to used, if it was stock or an intentional photo shoot. Nothing against her either way; I just hope she was in the know and was remunerated properly.

  6. So, the sex toy company, besides being insensitive idjits, is suggesting that we choose masturbating with a sex toy rather than engaging in actual lovemaking with a live woman who’s in the mood, just because she doesn’t look like the arbitrary, culturally imposed standard of beauty?

    I could more easily see reversing the gender roles in this ad campaign, playing along to the old joke of, “Why do men fall asleep after sex? So the woman can masturbate in peace and finish what he started.”

    The quality of a lover is not determined by physical appearance. It’s determined by the kind of person they are and their attitudes about both sex and giving. Great sex is accomplished when the participants are focused on giving to each other, rather than getting only for themselves.

    This ad campaign was obviously aimed at selfish people who only care about their own pleasure, in which case, the sex toy is probably the better option.


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