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Critics slam Slim-Fast for sexist dieting ads

One woman wants to be the "hottest MILF" in her area code. The other, clad in pink jim jams, yacks on the phone with her mom: she wants to get fit and do the "reverse cowgirl" with her laundry-toting husband, with the lights on.

Both women star in these slightly gross new ads for Slim-Fast's "Get What You Really Want" campaign, which targets women and their post-baby weight.

The mommy bloggers are not amused.

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"When you are done growing this person, you better put your fat ass on a diet because what you really want more than anything is for people to consider you a MILF or to … look like a Russian gymnast," wrote Mommyish's Eve Vawter, suggesting that Slim-Fast shakes taste like "liquified sawdust."

Unilever's Slim-Fast director Wes Boas told Ad Age the company wants to connect with "the modern day woman."

"We want to get women laughing when they see our ads – laugh with Slim-Fast, laugh at dieting and have a laugh about themselves. We want them to say, 'OMG that is soooo me,'" said Boas, no doubt dying a little on the inside.

Vawter points out that "reverse cowgirl" wannabe actually has a very willing husband, but sternly tells him "not happening." Presumably she's still too fat, and will engage with her husband after her Slim-Fast potions take hold: "'This isn't happening' because everyone knows that women that size don't have sex," quips Vawter, before going off on the poor husband.

Ultimately, the ads play on marital insecurities in the bedroom – classy. They also promote competition between women, as the other stroller mama eyes her Slim-Fast friend warily at the end of the spot.

"The idea of wanting to lose weight so you can feel better physically or for health reasons is just so passé," Vawter writes .

Whatever happened to embarking on a health regime because it makes you feel good, sans liquified sawdust?

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Zosia More


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