California agency under fire for faked fat-girl photo
A state anti-soda ad used an altered image of the child to make her look obese. One critic calls it a 'public hate message.'
A new anti-soda advertising campaign from a California agency is coming under fire for tweaking the image of a little girl to make her appear obese, in what some are calling a "creepy" Photoshopping misstep.
The ad comes from First 5, a state agency that's dedicated to improving the health of California's children and their families. But some people are crying foul over its recent campaign against sugary drinks like juice, soda and sports beverages, saying it does more harm than good.
Using images of obese kids is a contentious issue. Public health experts note that the effort is counterproductive and ends up ostracizing overweight children even more.
But the shock value of the California ad is just what the agency was aiming for.
"The ad was intended to show parents the real-life consequences of obesity and what sugar can do to our children’s lives," said agency spokeswoman Lindsay Van Laningham, according to the Daily Mail.
The ad is just the latest volley against sugary drinks and soda made by companies such as Coca-Cola (KO). New York City Mayor Bloomberg is known for his long-standing war against sugar-filled drinks, and just last week the city started a new $1.4 million campaign to persuade people to turn to water. It includes one spot that shows a chubby boy drinking from a juice box.
Kids shouldn't be featured in such ads because they deliver "public hate messages," wrote Marilyn Wann, the author of the book "Fat!So?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size," on Tumblr.
"Children deserve to be protected from this kind of damaging fearmongering. (And from creepy Photoshopping!)," she added.
Another issue with the campaign is that First 5 appears to have little supporting information on its own website for kids who want to learn more about healthy eating, points out Laura Beck on Jezebel. Some pages haven't been updated in four years, while others are only placeholders.
Beck notes, "Seriously, you guys? If you're gonna go out of your way to pay for ads that belittle and humiliate children, at least pretend to offer a solution."
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
What about all of the men, women and children that are photo shopped to be skinny???? That never draws any criticism.
You're seriously worried about some kid's feelings when what you should be worried about is that child's health. How ignorant. What a way to prioritize and send the right message. No wonder we have this obesity problem. You have no will power to tell yourselves 'no' at the desert table, and get all huffy when someone tries to step up and save our children. We have an opportunity to change our fate in this country, but instead the whack jobs have to turn it into a political debate. I imagine from what I have read here that if I was to stick my arm down a well to save a trapped child it would be touted as some liberal commie plot to keep children alive.
I agree that some image messages are wrong. Telling girls that they all have to be a size zero is wrong, and the like. But wake up and get real here, peeps. We are killing ourselves with the food of today. Sugar is more addicting and they are learning it may be more dangerous than nicotine, alcohol and many drugs. We've become so addicted to the poisons in our food today that we will allow it to rule us to the point of addicting our children. Another generation lost. We say big is beautiful, but no it isn't. Or let me guess, you are big boned or have a glandular problem. Guess what, less than one percent of the population has a medical cause for their size. The rest is poor planning, poor diet. Poor exercise and, really, a lot of laziness.
Stop making excuses. Stop cursing the people who are just trying to help. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, they are only trying to open people's eyes to some real dangers in our choices. No commie plot. Sorry. No one gives a damn about Timmy's image either, not when it comes to his health. And if that's not enough, think about this: Like with smokers, most of the health problems generated from these poor, sugar charged diets are paid for by the public tax dollar. An astronomical amount that could be better used else where if only we countered a glass of water over a cola
When I was 400 pounds, I made all the same excuses, and lived the same horrible life. I'm now 250 and though I am still over weight, I've stopped blaming and lying and my life has only gotten better. You can change if you want, but you must first stop the blaming. Embrace truth. Get strong and for God's sake do everything you can to save the children from you failures!
I think that the add gets to the point. The point being that we can chose what we give our children and that choice affects their lives. We as a society need to stop being so sensitive.
It doesn't humiliate anyone specific as the girl was photo shopped and not actually obese which I suppose would then be more approaching the line of bad taste.
The lady at the end of the artical who pointed out "Seriously, you guys? If you're gonna go out of your way to pay for ads that belittle and humiliate children, at least pretend to offer a solution." um.. the choice is totally there. It's up to us as parents to realize that. We have the solution- moderation.
This is the new accepted discrimination in this country. It provides a new excuse for the insurance companies, and medical corporations to charge more with little basis in truth. These are the type of corporations that are already raping us for their almighty profit and are always on the look out for new ways to victimize people. Obesity gives them victims without a voice because a lot of obesity is poverty driven because the poor can't afford quality food and people are all to willing to criticize others in the present political climate. Anytime people come up with something they are telling you is for your own good and you are in the wrong because of a "lifestyle" you are choosing, WATCH OUT!
Want to make a big dent in obesity in America, stop food manufacturers from putting high fructose corn syrup in everything to start. Food corporations are victimizing us in the the name of their profits too, especially those behind the big corn lobbyists.
Two groups of people that have open season on them are fat people and Christians. The liberals have decided that these two groups, are not and should not be protected from hate speech. So everyone take your shots at will. It's ok to hate fat people and Christians....it's the in thing to do.
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