Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


Facebook ads.

Okay, the ones telling me that two of my friends think they're smarter than me? Kind of hilarious. The ones telling me that two of my friends have crushes on me? Transparent. The ones telling me that my friends think I'm fat? Infuriating.

First off, my friends don't *think* I'm fat, they fucking well know it. Because they've seen me, and it's one of my harder-to-miss visual qualities. Also because I say it, not in a sheepish or apologetic way, but in a matter-of-fact, in-touch-with-physical-reality kinda way. 'Cause, you know, I AM FAT.

What pisses me off about this ad is that it's not really saying "your friends think you're fat," it's really saying "your friends think you're a gluttonous loser who's about to drop dead of a heart attack, who smells funny, who isn't worthy of love or sex," yada yada all the other crap that the word "fat" is shorthand for. And it's implying that your *friends* think all this stuff - so imagine what people who aren't your friends must think!

Conveniently, these ads offer a solution right next to this horrifying revelation. A slide bar that you're supposed to use to find your current weight, and then it will tell you how much weight you should lose, and conveniently directing you to some diet plan or other. (I don't know which; I didn't click.) There's no slidebar to input your cholesterol or blood sugar or activity levels or height or frame size or genetic predispositions or any of that stuff....because apparently there's only one ideal weight for all people everywhere, and finding that perfect weight is the key to your friends not thinking you're fat (which is apparently important?).

I have sadly enjoyed a lot of Facebook-based distraction at work, and I genuinely think it's a useful tool. It's bad enough I have to see sixty thousand mentions of Oprah's new acai berry diet ad nauseum, but to have such blatantly manipulative ads that probably push a lot of people's buttons, and maybe aren't clear in that they aren't actually based on some mystery poll all your friends took or something....gods, it just infuriates me. More than usual.


vesta44 said...

That kind of crap is exactly why I stay away from places like Facebook and MySpace. It's not like I have a lot of people with whom I want to stay in touch anyway, so I'm not going to subject myself to that just to keep in touch with one or two people (they can email me if it's that damned important that I know what's going on in their lives). And if I want them to know what's going on in my life, I'll email them.

Tari said...

I don't mind subjecting myself to it...I'm jaded enough to see right through it and roll my eyes. My beef is for all the people who may not see those ads for what they are, upon whom that sort of mindfuck might work. That's the part that pisses me off, all the people who might fall victim and risk their lives or their quality of life because of this kind of bullshit.