Got Fat? Get Milk!

In this ad, Got Milk? encourages women to consume milk to loose weight. In the ad, a glass is filled with milk and transforms into an hourglass shape, mimicking an hourglass female figure. No woman appears in the ad; however, there is a sultry woman’s voice in the background. The glass’s transformation and woman’s voice, in lieu of a woman, is representative of the objectification of women in advertising. As Jean Kilbourne discussed in “Killing Us Softly 4,” the woman becomes the product that is being sold. The transformation of the tall cylindrical glass into the hourglass form privileges the hourglass figure over other body types and references the popular disgust with abdominal fat (Bordo, 202).

The only focus of the commercial is weight loss; it makes no mention of the other health benefits (or consequences) of consuming milk. This focus on weight loss conveys that women want and need to loose weight, that their bodies are not acceptable in their naturally occurring states. It also propagates the false notion that an hourglass figure is achievable for every woman.

On the surface it seems milk is being marketed to all women, however with a closer look there is a very specific market. The kitchen that this glass is placed in is dark, modern, clean, and shadowy there is no evidence of children or family. The sultry voice in the commercial references a study to prove the validity of it’s message and even invites the consumer to visit a website to learn more. All of these signifiers suggest the ad is targeted at educated, single, childless, professional, women with disposable incomes. Furthermore, this commercial is targeted at white women, considering that most people of color in the United States are lactose intolerant and do not consume milk.[1]


[1] Tracye Lynn McQuirter, By Any Greens Necessary (Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 2010), 60.

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