This is the feminist equivalent of atheists suing to get the Christmas tree in front of city hall torn down on church-and-state grounds. Is that a battle you really want to win, knowing the damage it’ll do to your war effort? In fact, this is worse than the Christmas-tree example because it’s an attempt to shame people for finding attractive what most of them find attractive, a losing tactic no matter which side is engaged in it. Goofing on objections to the ad, Free Beacon writer Alana Goodman sums them up this way: “Ban hot people.” What percentage of people reading about this had the same mocking reaction? Eighty? How many people, watching this very mundane ad be turned into a thoughtcrime by the state, are reaching the same conclusion that Ace did, that the outcry must be driven by jealous overweight women eager to punish sexual rivals with whom they can’t compete? Sounds like a winning PR strategy to me.

As a wise man once said, what’s wrong with being sexy?

After receiving about 360 complaints about the campaign, mostly that it objectified women, the Advertising Standards Authority has also launched an inquiry into whether the ad is offensive…

The ad campaign, which promotes Protein World weight-loss products, is due to end a three-week run on London underground. The vast majority of complainants argue that the ad is offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image.

“Although the ad won’t appear in the meantime, we’ve launched an investigation to establish if it breaks harm and offence rules or is socially irresponsible,” said the spokesman.

“We will now carefully and objectively explore the complaints that have prompted concerns around body confidence and promptly publish our findings.”

Not sure why the body image promoted by the model should be considered “unhealthy” when it’s a truism of “body acceptance” movements that you can’t deduce how healthy someone is from their weight. You can be overweight — or under — and still be healthier than someone who’s at the “ideal” weight. What’s unhealthy, I guess, is the idea that you must reach the model’s weight to be attractive, i.e. “beach body ready,” except that no one’s saying that and the ad, realistically, isn’t even implying it. It’s a weight-loss company; most people want to lose a few pounds before stripping down and showing off their winter flab at the beach. The ad is merely “aspirational,” said the CEO, the sort of target you aim for without realistically expecting or even wanting to hit it, not unlike guys at the gym trying to look like the musclehead on the cover of “Muscle & Fitness.” All of this is very obvious. But go read the petition calling for state action against the company over the ad. Unbelievable:

Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic* body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.

*for the majority of people to ‘achieve’: everyone has an individual body shape

Perhaps not everyone’s priority is having a ‘beach body’ (by the way, what is that?), and making somebody feel guilty for not prioritising it by questioning their personal choices is a step too far. A body’s function is far more intricate and important than looking ‘beach ready’, so in fact it is Protein World who have confused their priorities, if anyone.

Basically they object to … advertising, the whole point of which (at least for health and beauty products) is to make you feel inferior unless you buy what the advertiser’s selling. That makes me think at least some of the flak Protein World’s getting here is strategic, a test case to see what advertising regulators will and won’t be willing to ban in the name of protecting “body confidence.” Would the ad still be banworthy if the “beach body ready” tagline was dropped, leaving that idea merely implied by the model’s photo? After all, any photo of a thin woman showing off her body in an ad is implicitly designed to be aspirational for women. Ban ’em all. As one British feminist wrote, only after returning from a trip to Cuba(!) did she realize “how much my field of vision is occupied without my consent by images and messages that want to sell me stuff.” It’s a matter of consent. Leaving images of this hot blonde up in British subway cars to taunt her is practically a form of mind-rape.

We’ve reached an odd moment culturally when leftists in the government hector us to lose weight and avoid the health risks from obesity while leftists outside the government hector us to stop “body-shaming” and accept that people come in all shapes and sizes. Can’t wait to find out who wins!