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.