Weight Watchers’ new campaign implies fat women need special lights to have sex

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It’s frustratingly common knowledge that body image can affect so many things in women’s lives and one of those things is often their ability to comfortably have sex without worrying about their bodies. We know this. OK. But Weight Watchers’ new campaign that implies fat women need special lights in order to have sex, or that they don’t like having sex at all, took that concept and made it super awkward.

In an effort to promote their new campaign, the company reportedly sent Australian press people a light bulb, along with a card that read:

Let’s be honest for a minute, sex is pretty damn fantastic. But if you’ve ever felt self-conscious in the sack you’re not alone – we’ve heard that more than half of women have avoided sex because they were worried about how they look. This globe is a ‘mood light’ designed to give you a little boost in the bedroom (a PG sex toy, if you will). We hope it helps you start seeing yourself in a new light – to love how you look and love how you feel.

On one hand, it’s possible to see how one or two people in the company thought this was a good idea. Maybe they thought, “A lot of women are self-conscious in bed, so maybe adding some mood lighting so they don’t feel as exposed will help?” But then on the other hand, it’s hard not to wonder how no one in the company was like, “Wait, couldn’t this be seen as an effort to tell women to cover up their bodies with darker lighting so they don’t have to see their bodies, and neither does anyone else?”

How many people thought this was an okay idea before it arrived on my desk as a piece of PR


The Guardian Australia’s Bridie Jabour wondered the same thing and tweeted out a photo of the really awkward piece of marketing, which resulted in a lot of other people being like, “What the fuck even is this?”

Weight Watchers’ senior marketing manager, Rebecca Melville, reportedly told Mumbrella that the company now regrets sending the bulbs, saying, “As we launched, we launched in stages and that has fueled the conversation without context.”

I’m not sure what context they could’ve given that would’ve made this make more sense, but maybe there was? Maybe?

Mashable also received an emailed statement from Weight Watchers director of program and content, Martha Lourey-Bird, who said the campaign is supposed to represent “falling in love with real food again, enjoying getting active and discovering how good they can feel.”

I’m not sure what that has to do with suggesting that how your body looks impacts how much you like and desire sex, but alright, guys.

The thing that gets me is, turning the lights down or having less light in the room is kind of the opposite of loving yourself and “discovering how good you can feel.” Body confidence means aiming to love yourself in all forms of light and ideally, choosing partners who are like, “Fuck this special mood light. You’re gorgeous and great, which is why I want to have sex with you, not you in six months if you lose a few pounds. Or you, secretly, in the dark, so I can’t see your body at all.”

It’s not always possible to have that kind of self-love, true, but that should probably be the general goal, as opposed to a specially designed sex bulb. Just an idea.


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