Saturday, April 29, 2006

Inspired by a Magazine Ad

A post-New Year’s (2006) advertisement for Special K takes the form of a page-long narrative, entitled, “Weightless: A Short Story.” In it, we meet Melissa, who yearns for German chocolate cake, but instead chooses to “indulge in a Special K chocolatey drizzle bar.” I wouldn’t exactly call that indulging, though I may have missed the point.

Thankfully, the writer instructs me that “Every great story contains great conflict. A moment when the hero fights her greatest enemy and remains true, or all is lost.” If the last sentence were a complete sentence, I’m sure it would have highlighted the good/evil, yin/yang, German chocolate cake/Special K drizzle bar duality that we encounter on a daily basis.

Melissa finally weighs herself after two weeks of “indulging” on drizzle bars, and on judgment day, the die is cast: “For a second she thought she couldn’t look as the little dial spun toward a number. It stopped. She was almost a full six pounds lighter! She wanted to jump for joy. This was going to be a very good day! This was going to be the start of something great.”

I’d hate to mention it could be water weight, that she’ll probably gain it back, and then some, or that she might not have energy to jump, given the fact that she’s been eating just a bowl of cereal for 2/3 of her meals. What I really want to say is how angry this ad makes me, how sad it is that we invest so much in a scale and in a number, and how frightened I am that someone might read this copy and actually buy the message and like herself a little less. No author is identified, and I’m afraid that might be because she’s in a closet somewhere, bingeing on cookie dough.

5 comments:

margrocks said...

ha! yes! i SAVED that little booklet b/c i wanted to write something myself about that someday. "weightless!" WHO THE HELL WANTS TO BE WEIGHTLESS? and when did crispy special K bars become FOOD?

PalmTreeChick said...

I found your comment about investing so much in a scale and numbers interesting because those two combinations pretty much run my life. I guess hopping on the scale like 10 times a day says something.

drstaceyny said...

It says that changes in hydration are dictating your life. I say, weigh yourself once a week.

Better yet, and as other therapists/authors have advised, get rid of the scale. For bonus points, smash it with a sledgehammer in a field a la the fax scene in Office Space.

ps22 said...

Any opportunity to repeat the fax machine scene from Office Space sounds like a great idea to me.

The whole eating cereal to be healthy drives me crazy. I don't think there has ever been a time when a bowl of cereal has made me feel full.

PalmTreeChick said...

Once a week? I couldn't get away with weighing myself only once a day.