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Does New Pepsi Can Force Unrealistic Expectations on Women?

New Diet Pepsi Can (calorielab.com)

Diet Pepsi recently announced a new slimmer, skinnier can that they say is in celebration of “beautiful, confident women.” However some groups are crying foul, saying the design is “thoughtless and irresponsible.”  At least, that’s what the National Eating Disorders Association says. They say the can design only furthers the unrealistic expectations already forced on women about their size.

Pepsi says they realize this interpretation, and while they are sensitive to it, are not changing the design. They say the “slim, attractive new can” is meant to compliment the current sleek, stylish look in fashion. They’re even throwing a release party for it. But is it out of line?

In my opinion, no. Yes, throwing a party for a can of soda does border on absurd, and there’s no doubt that the can does promote a “thin” look. But you can’t argue that this can looks good. It’s really marketing genius: a diet drink that is even packaged to make you feel thinner. Not that it hasn’t been done before. Tab energy drinks are obviously marketed towards women, and sport the same slender shape. I may be wrong, but I don’t think there was as much hubbub when they upgraded their design, and that was even celebrated with a fashion show.

Making such a big deal out of the shape of a can is just about as ridiculous as throwing a party for one. Pepsi obviously feels that there’s a market that this shape will appeal to, and honestly, consumers drinking diet Pepsi will probably at most subconsciously remove the guilt associated with drinking a soda. As far as instigating low self esteem, I think a soda can’t even hold a candle to America’s Next Top Model or 17 Magazine. However, those who think otherwise do have a choice. Pepsi will still offer the “normal sized” cans for those with easily compromised self-esteems.

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