What do Wonder Woman and diet protein bars have in common? Apparently enough to join forces on a branded venture to help stop women from overeating.
thinkThin—a “leader in protein-focused nutrition”—has teamed up with the upcoming Warner Bros. film to promote Wonder Woman-branded protein bars. The bars, available in sugar-free flavours like lemon delight and maple almond, are meant to give women “everyday strength” without causing them to feel guilty about indulging.
“We wanted to celebrate a hero film featuring a woman in the leading role,” said Michele Kessler, the president of U.S.-based thinkThin, in a recent press release. “We love that Wonder Woman has super strength and we’re proud to offer delicious products that give women the everyday strength they need to power through their day.”
Here’s the thing: want know what also helps women power through their day? A society that doesn’t force them to worry about their weight all the time.
While thinkThin calls itself “a delicious, high protein brand that delivers on great taste and promotes good health,” the company’s name inherently perpetuates the notion that thinness is the ultimate body ideal. The product description—bars that satisfy “hunger with none of the guilt”—exemplifies everything that is wrong with women-centric diet products: women should not feel bad about themselves for eating.
As part of the partnership, thinkThin also commissioned a bizarre survey to discover American women’s “must haves” when it comes to super powers. The results? “Women desire invisibility, flight and telepathy,” thinkThin wrote. INVISIBILITY!!! Why on earth would powerful women want to become invisible?! This “survey” is sending some pretty messed-up messages about body image and self-worth. Is the diet-focused brand implying that the thinner (read: invisible) you are, the more powerful you’ll become? If so, we’re totally not on board.
Gal Gadot, the 32-year-old Israeli actor who plays the Amazon warrior princess, has legit had her body commodified throughout the entire Wonder Woman process. First, she got flak for being too thin to play Diana of Themyscira, then her armpits were allegedly Photoshopped in the film’s trailer, and now she’s being used to sell a weight-control product.
While it’s common for films to have joint ventures (McDonald’s gave away LEGO Batman toys in Happy Meals earlier this year), we can’t imagine any male superhero teaming up with a diet brand. Using Wonder Woman as the face of a company that tells women to “think thin” undermines all that the superhero stands for: empowerment, confidence and ownership over her own body.
If all that could be packaged into a protein bar, then maybe we’d bite.