And what if I love dogs, yoga and yogurt?

August 24th, 2009 11:26 am by Kelly Garbato

The recent spate of probiotic/fiber-filled yogurt commercials is starting to make me loathe yogurt – even the vegan kind. And I freaking adore cherry and lemon Whole Soy!

These dairy-based offenses have become so frequent that even Sarah Haskins – who has poked fun at yogurt ads not once, but twice – cannot keep up with all the stupid.

First, we have this uber-obnoxious ad from Fiber One:

In case you can’t view the video, here’s the gist: A thin, blonde, WASP-y looking woman – who, incidentally, appears to have stepped straight out of the ’80s – runs into a friend at a Fiber One sample station, located outside the supermarket’s exit. Our fair WASP is dressed head-to-toe in oversized accessories: softball-sized “pearl” earrings and necklace; a bracelet that might have been fashioned out of a mug from Central Perk; huge, Pee Wee Herman sunglasses; a purse the size of a backpack; a heart-shaped pendant nearly as big as her head. And…a large dog. A Great Dane, perhaps?

The large accessories are supposed to make her body look smaller and thinner when viewed next to their comical monstrosity. Why resort to such crazy antics, the commercial suggests, when you can just go on a semi-liquid Fiber One yogurt diet and slurp your way to an eating disorder?

Aside from the emphasis on thinness (incidentally, neither of the two women are what you’d call “fat,” yet the need for dieting is not questioned, but reinforced), there’s some pretty casual and nefarious speciesism at play here. The dog is likened to an object, a fashion accessory, a tool of sorts; something to be disposed of when no longer needed. He’s not treated as someone, but something. Earrings, necklace, bracelet, sunglasses, purse, pendant, dog: one of these things is not like the other.

The disposal of “pets,” by the by, is a pretty serious problem. Perhaps this commercial might seem like a harmless joke – but try explaining the punch line to the three to four millions cats and dogs killed in U.S. shelters each year.

Thankfully, the next offender isn’t speciesist, rather, it’s just plain stupid.

Here, a woman visits her friend at home, only to find said friend in the middle of a yoga workout. And an advanced one, at that: I’ve been doing yoga for several years, in the comfort of my own home. If pressed, I’d call myself an intermediate yogi: not a beginner, not advanced, just so-so. I don’t know whether the pose our Yoplait victim has twisted herself into is a “real” one, but it’s fairly impressive.

Anyhow, the friend comes bearing not one, but two containers of Yoplait yogurt – the one she’s snacking on, and an extra she just happens to have in her purse (!). When our yogi asks what she’s eating, the friend smugly explains that it’s Yoplait’s Yoplus yogurt, a “special blend” for “digestive health” (as if probiotics are unique to this one particular brand of yogurt – not!). The friend offers her the second, unopened container from her purse, at which point the yogi whines, “I can’t find my hand.”

The message: why waste your time exercising when you can just consume our product? (Nevermind that the yogi’s ass looks so toned that you could bounce a quarter off of it.) Yoplait one-ups Fiber One by promoting dieting to the exclusion of exercise.

Then again, at least Yoplait doesn’t encourage its audience to toss out their “pets” like yesterday’s fads once they’ve outlived their usefulness.

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4 Responses to “And what if I love dogs, yoga and yogurt?”

  1. Shannon Says:

    I too am sick of the stupid yogurt commercials! They make me feel like a poser for having soy yogurt and granola for breakfast. And I loooove Sarah Haskins. :)

  2. bonobobabe Says:

    I’ve never tried soy yogurt. It seems suspicious to me. The bacteria that makes yogurt ferments lactose, and there is no lactose in soymilk. What kind of bacteria do they use, then? And can I make my own? I used to make my own yogurt when I was an omnivore. It was fun and not that difficult.

    Incidentally, you don’t need yogurt to get lactobacillus. If you eat raw sauerkraut, it contains lactobacillus. Or make your own. It’s fun and not too difficult.

  3. Kelly G. Says:

    You know, Wing-It Vegan gave away a yogurt maker not that long ago. Not something I’d drop a ton of money on, but it piqued my interest. I’m not sure about the bacteria – I’ll have to look into it. I’m allergic to milk, and haven’t had any problems with the Whole Soy or Silk yogurts.

    Sauerkraut – wow. Haven’t had that since I was a wee lil’ one. Does that bring back memories!

  4. Warrior Two Says:

    Geez! Do people actually find these tired jokes funny in the first place? There’s a special place in hell for ad execs.

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