Erasure of labour: a critical analysis of appetite suppressant product marketing by Flat Tummy Co
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 18:49 authored by Christine Campbell, Craig Owen, Joanne O’Prey
Postfeminist media culture celebrates female bodies as a source of identity and power and calls for women to engage in work on the physical and psychological self. This paper offers a critical analysis of marketing by Flat Tummy Co., a company that sells appetite suppressant products to women with the promise of achieving slim ideals. We collated 270 photos and 98 slogans from Flat Tummy Co.’s Instagram account. Our analysis identified three interpretive repertoires: be fit even though you’re lazy; be thin even though you binge; be empowered even though you’re weak. These repertoires set up an impossible dilemma between ideals and “reality”. Flat Tummy Co. claim to resolve this dilemma by offering products that tell women there is no need for work on the body and self. We conceptualise this rhetoric as Erasure of Labour, where socially desirable goals are ostensibly achieved without associated work. Whilst Erasure of Labour solutions are presented as freeing and simple, we argue they are a potentially harmful illusion. Our critical analysis will equip consumers and feminist activists with a means to evaluate and resist these seductive marketing messages. We conclude by encouraging researchers to look for Erasure of Labour rhetoric in other domains.
Publication titleFeminist Media Studies
PublisherTaylor & Francis
- Accepted version