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Afterpay ad perpetuates unhealthy relationship with food

This article contains content about diet culture and similar topics, and may not be suitable for all readers.

Afterpay is the new-ish tech company that allows you to buy something, receive it immediately, and pay in installments. Kind of like layby in reverse. The company is also known for making a lot of people rich on the stock market due to it's meteoric rise in value. Afterpay often gets a bad wrap for 'preying on the poor' (not our words), but it also gives consumers the opportunity to purchase things that might ordinarily be inaccessible. And if you pay on time, there are no fees. So it gets mixed reviews from us, but we still reckon it's better to avoid it when you can (not financial advice queens!).

Something that absolutely does not get mixed reviews is their most recent ad. It stars Rebel Wilson, who is 'Rebel-splaining' (definitely not our words) what Afterpay is to a customer (whose accent changes between the Australian and US versions) what Afterpay is with a series of pretty problematic examples. "It's kinda like..." Rebel explains.

"Having the abs now, but getting six weeks to do the sit-ups"

First of all, it's a very well-known fact that sit-ups do not give you abs. And if we really get into it, everyone already has abs - it would be impossible to sit, walk, stand, or breathe without them. It is strange that a widely pined-after goal is to 'have abs' when what people really mean is visible abs. But either way, sit ups don't give you visible abs, and it takes more than six weeks to make meaningful and sustainable aesthetic changes to your body (remember that next time you see a six week challenge in your feed), and above all, remember that visible abs are not an indicator of health or superiority, will not make you happier, and rhetoric stating otherwise is a product of our diet-obsessed society.

"If you could eat the whole tub of ice cream and spread the calories over six weeks"

Yeah, no. Really don't like that one. Why are we still talking about calories in this way? I thought our society was finally moving past demonising certain foods (eg. ice cream), and perpetuating the idea that food has moral value (eg. ice cream = bad). Once again I must question the logic behind this one. Say you bought one tub of ice cream every six weeks exactly. Whether you ate it all in one go or a spoon a day, it's still the same amount of calories. More importantly, however, a tub of ice cream isn't going to ruin your life. It might ruin your day if you're lactose intolerant, but that's what Lacteez is for. And before the ~health gurus~ come for me, don't even PRETEND like this ad is supposed to be pro-health. Don't even FUCKING TRY ME PETE EVANS.

"Don't you judge us!"

She says this line to the small dog watching her eat ice cream in front of the TV. There's not much to say at this point. Diet-obsessed society, telling women eating ice cream is something to be judged for and judge others for, giving food a moral value, etc. etc., you get it.

Call me naïve, but I was really shocked to see an ad like this aired. Last year, a Toyota Yaris ad was banned after the people featured were said to be 'driving too fast,' assumedly promoting dangerous behaviour. So where is the difference? Villifying food groups and promoting an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise is also dangerous. Eating disorders and disordered eating is said to affect 16.3% of the Australian public, and those figures are only based on what's reported. How many people do you know who have a troubled relationship with food? The easier question to answer is probably how many people you know don't have a troubled relationship with food. Ads like this one are only making it worse.