“Skinny” This, “Thin” That

Skinny LatteIs it just me, or does it seem like there are more and more products in stores and restaurants that have the words skinny or thin in their name? The last time I checked, there was no drink that could make you skinny, or a food that only skinny people eat. However, companies are using these two words to sell their food and drinks to a culture that is already focused on weight and body image.

There’s skinny ice cream, skinny milk, “thin” water, and of course, the Starbucks “skinny” lattes. At Starbucks that means non-fat milk, sugar-free syrup, and no whipped cream to make what they call “a sinfully delicious, guilt-free latte”.  If non-fat is skinny, then what would you call drinks with 2%, or even whole milk?

The popularity of these products reminds us of how obsessed our society is with dieting and being thin. This obsession can be very damaging for a teen’s self-esteem. It tells girls that they shouldn’t be confident in their bodies unless they are “skinny”, no matter how unrealistic that ideal may be. The more and more these words pop up on food and drink labels, the more young women will grow up to believe that being skinny is an expectation and a goal that they should be working towards.

-Brooke, CYWH Summer Volunteer