Fury Over ‘Wonder Woman’ Protein Bar Promotion That’s ‘Insensitive’ to Fat People

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 4:46 pm, May 6, 2017
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In a sane world, Wonder Woman would be a natural fit for partnership with a fitness product. The producers of the upcoming female-led superhero film have teamed up with Think Thin, a fitness brand that delivers protein bars, smoothie mixes and an assortment of other products geared towards fitness buffs. After all, Wonder Woman is the epitome of feminine strength.

The new promotion came after the movie’s producers at Warner Bros. were accused of underselling the film, which prompted accusations of misogyny from feminist critics.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a sane world, and social justice warriors keen on spreading the misguided belief that you can be “healthy at every size” are throwing a conniption over the promotion.

The issue of “fat positivity” is at the source of their complaints. Gizmodo’s Beth Elderkin complains that marketing in general has an “incredibly unhealthy relationship with female body image. While there have been efforts over the past few years to encourage more body diversity in advertising, there’s still a major stigma over weight and appearance.”

It’s true that they do, but what does any of this have to do with the lifestyle ThinkThin promotes? Elderkin argues that as the first female-led superhero movie, Wonder Woman has a “responsibility to respect its audience,” which is expected to see strong female engagement.

“It clearly looks like they’ve tried to market the film to women and girls, especially since they used Supergirl’s audience engagement as inspiration. But, this is the wrong way to do it. Women and girls don’t want to be told they need to ‘think thin’ in order to be Wonder Woman.”

On The Mary Sue, Vivian Kane says that “’think thin’ is not a slogan we need associated with a fierce warrior.” After all, Gal Gadot, the actress who plays Wonder Woman, was previously criticized for appearing “too skinny” to fill the shoes of the muscular heroine. To be clear, the company isn’t promoting anorexia—so the argument doesn’t make much sense.

The ThinkThin partnership includes everything from ticket discounts to large advertisements promoting both the upcoming film alongside the company’s offerings. ThinkThin isn’t the only company to team up with Warner Bros.—PinkBerry and Dr Pepper are, too—but it’s the only one that’s creating outrage.

Those upset by the partnership don’t have a problem with the movie’s cross-promotion with high-carb, sugary desserts and soft drinks, which are the leading causes of obesity. It really makes you think.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.