Critics Say Pepsi’s ‘Skinny’ Diet Can Perpetuates Negative Body Image, Stereotypes

Diet Pepsi has introduced a new “skinny” can in accordance with New York Fashion Week. The diet soda can is a tall, sleek version of itself that PepsiCo said was “made in celebration of beautiful, confident women.” While the can might look appealing on store shelves, critics wonder if the new approach will perpetuate harmful stereotypes against women and body image.

PepsiCo, a Fashion Week sponsor, is hosting a series of events to launch the new can, including collaborations with popular designers such as Charlotte Ronson and Betsey Johnson.

“Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks, and we’re excited to throw its coming-out party during the biggest celebration of innovative design in the world,” Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo said in a statement.

While brand experts have praised PepsiCo for its new, visually appealing design, critics have said that the brand is making a dangerous statement: that skinny is better.  According to the Associated Press, The National Eating Disorders Association said it takes offense to the can and said the company’s comments are both “thoughtless and irresponsible.”

Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association, told Refinery 29: “It is painful that a major Fortune 500 company needs to denigrate the majority of women in this country to sell their products…Pepsi should be ashamed for declaring that skinny is to be celebrated.”

What do you think? Is Pepsi encouraging an unhealthy body image or are they in line with the latest fashions?

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