Somehow I got on the mailing list for Bliss Spa & Beauty, I suspect because I cashed in a gift certificate for a facial there a few years ago and now they own all my information. The products they sell are way too pricey for me, so normally I just recycle the catalogue. But today when I glanced at the cover, this caught my eye.
Yes, sisters, it’s Bliss’s FatGirl line of products. The sell copy reads:
This body-toning trio features all of our famous ‘Fatgirl’ favorites for 24/7 DIY dimple dashing. Massage each formula on daily for an easy-to-perform spa-quality slimming routine that’ll keep orange peel skin on the outs.
Includes full sizes of:
• bliss fatgirlslim, for caffeine-powered daytime firming
• bliss fatgirlscrub, for circulation-stimulating skin smoothing
• bliss fatgirlsleep, for soothing overnight blub-busting
Okay, for the record, if you have cellulite or subcutaneous fat, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU RUB ON YOUR SKIN. Pricey lotions and scrubs, aromatherapy oils, the blood of virgins, it will not change a thing. That’s simply not how human biology works. Nothing you apply to the skin will have the slightest effect on the fat beneath the skin. EVA. Yes, the scrub might stimulate your circulation, but so will scrubbing your skin with a washcloth. Caffeine might make your skin look a bit tighter for a very short period of time, but it won’t slim away a fat deposit. And “overnight blub-busting”? What the fuck does that even mean?
So right off the bat, the advertising here is super-sketchy. I’m sure these products smell nice and they come in a cute package, but they are straight-up snake oil; Bliss appears to promise something that basic science ensures it can never deliver. This is pretty much par for the course with Big Cosmetics; gazillions of dollars of skin creams are sold based on cleverly written ad copy that makes it sound like they can make you younger, firmer, slimmer, sexier, etc, when, in fact, all they will do is suck money out of your wallet (this trio of products costs $105 and tellingly, there’s no information on how many ounces of product that buys you. I suspect each container is only about 4 oz.)
But what caught my eye and what I find weird about these products is the name. FatGirl. “Fat” is one of the most loaded words in our culture when it comes to women. Fat is NEVER a good thing. Usually companies will twist themselves in knots to not use that word in advertising. In this case, I feel like some marketing whiz was trying to be hip and brash and create some sense of sisterly commiseration, like your slightly tipsy best girlfriend saying “Sweetie, we’re chubs but here’s this cool lotion that will bust our blub while we sleep! Tee hee!” Which…ick.
I know that there are women who want to reclaim the word fat and be proud of their size and tell anyone who would use “fat” in a derogatory way to kiss their proud, fat asses. I’m totally down with that. But that ain’t what we’re talking about here. Even though they label it as FatGirl, Bliss is clearly not selling fat pride; these creams and scrubs are being marketed as a way to fight fat. Like so many other companies, Bliss sells the snake oil by playing on women’s insecurities about being perceived as fat. It’s more of the usual fat-shaming in slightly more counter-intuitive package.