Home Social Construct On A Scale Of 1-10, How Much Does This Offend You?

On A Scale Of 1-10, How Much Does This Offend You?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

First, a little background:

AshleyMadison.com is a website geared toward facilitating affairs and rendezvous between married-or-similarly-involved individuals. That is what this marketing is centered around.

That being said…

No? Okay, how about this one:

Jezebel, as peculiar as they are, had the following to say about this:

[The ad,] which appeared in the New York Metro, features a scantily-clad overweight woman with the caption, “Did your wife scare you last night?” The message: your wife, though she’s clearly gone to some effort to look sexy and seduce you, is too fat. Solution: adultery.

The site also found the model who serves as the “scary” example (she runs a BBW fetish website), and she had the following to say:

Years ago, before my modeling career began in earnest, a photographer friend of mine arranged an informal photo session. I was under the impression at the time that people purchasing these photos from the photographer would be doing so for their own personal use. I had no idea that the photographer would endeavor to sell the photos to corporations and/or stock photo companies, who would then go on, repeatedly, to use them in rude and mocking ways.

I am mortified that my image and likeness would be used as advertisement for two things I am so vehemently against: namely cheating and, to an even greater extent, body shaming.

I find the very idea that there exists a business based solely around the facilitation of infidelity appalling. The fact that they are now suggesting that a person’s partner not fitting their ideal body size/shape, entitles that person to ‘shop around’ is disgusting.

There is an enormous problem in this world in regards to female body shaming, and not solely in regard to fat women, but all women. A size 2 woman who sees this ad sees the message: “If I don’t stay small, he will cheat”. A size 12 woman might see this ad and think “if I don’t lose 30lbs, he will cheat”. A size 32 woman could see this ad, and feel “I will never find love”. It’s horrific. Not all women are necessarily insecure, but it’s no secret that body insecurity is endemic, regardless of size. This kind of message is extremely damaging to self worth. Eating disorders may have lost their place in the media spotlight, but continue to effect people of all ages, especially teens. This sort of behavior can easily be triggered from the careless cruelty of advertisements like the one in question.


It’s bad enough that a business exists that encourages and profits from cheaters, but, worse still, that they have the gall to blame a woman’s body on the act, rather than the man who is incapable of commitment and loyalty. It exists in the same school of thought in which a rapist blames a woman’s outfit for his crime.

I’m bothered by a lot of this, personally. It’s not necessarily about preferences, because you obviously preferred that person if you took it so far as to marry them. I’m going to avoid my marriage soapbox, but I am going to say…actually, no, I’m not.

“Life is short. Have an affair.”

Dude. I can’t. I need tea before I bother with this.

#teambgg2wl, what do you think? Does this bother you in any way, and if so, how?

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Tachae November 22, 2011 - 11:23 AM

I had to really think about this one before I answered. So, here goes: infidelity should not be glorified, and aside from the body shaming it speaks volumes on our cultures view of relationships. This lowers it down to nothing but pure physical connection. Then, (some) of the same people who use these services, or see nothing wrong with them wonder why my generation (I’m ninteen by the way), don’t value a deep connection with someone, or even understands what that means. Not to put all the blame on others, but I would always here things about men being unfaithful and the sentiment was ALWAYS “well, he’s a man”, or “as long as i’m put first (financially) I don’t care who he got on the side”, and maybe i’m looking too deep into the poster, but basically what i’m saying is that this poster fits into the greater issue that eventually a woman won’t be appealing to her husband, for whatever reason, not always weight, and his ancedote will be……cheating. Doesn’t matter if she’s trying to fix whatever issue, emotional, physical, or mental, SHE fell off the relationship bandwagon by not keeping up to his standard. Not to say this is every man, not by a LONG shot, but it’s what I’ve noticed.

Anastasia June 7, 2012 - 5:06 PM

@ Tachae You took the words right outta my mouth.

ElleShanel July 24, 2013 - 4:35 PM

Tachae, I wanted to reply to your comment particularly because of one thing that you said that really hit home with me. You said that the very same people who use these services or find nothing wrong with them wonder why ”your generation” treats relationships the way that they do.
Until you said that, I’d never thought of it from that perspective but unfortunately, what you said is exactly true. I have a 13yr old daughter whom I am doing everything in my power to raise as a beautiful, intelligent, classy young woman who values herself. I thought that that lesson would be the hardest but it isn’t. My biggest struggle is teaching her to value relationships which until just now, after reading your comment, I didn’t realize how scarce it is for people of your generation or younger to actually witness. When I was growing up, all of the tv shows were about family, education, being a good kid and the success you’d attain as long as you held on to these three values. Family Matters, Full House, Boy Meets World, The Wonder Years, The Cosby Show.. I could go on and on. Now, between these reality shows (Bad Girls) and these Housewives of WHATEVER, the youth of today really have no examples of how to value themselves, the opposite gender, creed, color, religion or race and sadly but especially, no real demonstration of the benefits of, the honor in and the irreplaceable happiness found only in a real relationship nor do they understand that it takes real work to get it and keep it. Just as with this ad, the music, the social media, many of the tv shows circle the drain driving home the point that if your girl doesn’t have a flat stomach or if she talks too much of if he doesn’t make a certain amount of money, leave or cheat on them. That’s all that I hear these days. It’s really sad. I read a post on my daughter’s page recently. It was a question asked by her TWELVE year old school mate, wanting to know ”who remembers their first kiss”… In my mind, I couldn’t help but scream with frustration. Twelve years old, first kiss, who remembers it…REALLY?? Growing up, I couldn’t wait for my first kiss and I knew I wanted it to be someone special, someone I really cared about. These days, kids, actual kids are losing their virginity over challenges, bets or to become a media sensation and many of them are not even in highschool yet and it is exactly the advertisement of lifestyles/products/services such as this that discourages the youth’s desires to set goals for something beyond a youtube/facebook moment. I just wanted you to know that I completely agree with your comment and how very intelligent and classy you portray yourself as. As a Mom, it gives me hope and the boost I need to keep holding the torch for faith in humanity or at least the youth of humanity when I see a young adult who actually ”gets” what life is really about. Thank you.

Christine May 3, 2014 - 7:35 PM

I have a son and one of the things I have instilled in him is to treat women with respect. Don’t run around trying to be a playa cuz you may have a daughter some day.

Tachae November 22, 2011 - 11:32 AM

Hear* I was so into it, I forgot how to spell.

Paula November 22, 2011 - 11:34 AM

I’m actually not phased by it. I don’t expect a site gear towards infidelity to have any couth or respect of persons – big or small. A tacky and triflant company, with matching adverts … sounds about right.

Suburban Soulgirl November 22, 2011 - 11:37 AM

3-4. I don’t expect high integrity or morals from a website that promotes infidelity.

alicia November 22, 2011 - 12:23 PM

very offended. and i say this not as an overweight woman, but as a woman who was chubby in her teens and always felt that the way to get a boyfriend was to lose weight. and that really messed me up, for years.
of course i’m not surprised to see a politically incorrect (and highly disrespectful) advertisement used for the company such as it is. but the fact that things like this are even put out into the public sphere makes me a little sick. i think every woman would feel a little twinge of discomfort after seeing this. these things can be more harmful than people realize.

Lisa November 22, 2011 - 1:27 PM

I think this ad is really irrelevant to what they are selling. Most men would be more than happy to get laid from their overweight wives that want to seduce them. The reason most men sign up for these types of sites is because they are not getting the attention they want at home. This is just a failed attempt at being humorous and I think a lot of men would agree.

Ctina July 24, 2013 - 2:54 PM

Lisa, men don’t cheat because they ‘aren’t getting any at home’, they cheat because they lack the integrity to work on the relationship they already have and would prefer escapism. It’s the same reason some people watch too much TV, or drink and do drugs, or eat an entire chocolate cake. Don’t buy into the whole ‘it’s the wife’s fault’. MY husband cheated several years ago, during his entire (extra marital) relationship OUR sex life never changed from what it was when we were newlyweds but I’m SURE that’s not what he was telling her.

Drea November 22, 2011 - 2:03 PM

Im not offended as an overweight woman, but I am offended as a wife. I’m used to the thin=good fat=bad thing, but “life is short. Have an affair” I just can’t. That just pisses me off.

Paulette November 22, 2011 - 2:03 PM

Honestly, I am not as offended as I thought I would be because I know they aren’t representative of the type of people I keep around me. However, I am more worried about what young, impressionable young ladies might think about this. CDs and movies need to have a parental warning, why not advertisements?

CurvyCEO November 22, 2011 - 2:06 PM

I’mma say the same thing I said when I posted about this on FB.

*copy* *paste*

There are so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to start…the fact that it’s a website providing “hookups” for those who want to cheat on their spouses…or the fact that they used an unauthorized image of a size 32 woman to promote infidelity (because, you know, she is “scary”)…or the fact that, in fact, the model uses pics like the one posted on her own site for fat fetishists. *shudders*

Lorrie November 22, 2011 - 2:49 PM

Although it is meant to be highly offensive and will be for many people (I will not downplay that fact) it is quite clever. Except, the agency will not consider that the very thing they are promoting as undesirable to the public will be exactly what men will call in and ask for. We have to remember that just because men outwardly accept the fat-hate it does not mean that they do so behind closed doors. This is the painful irony of it all. Yes it is inappropriate but when I first saw the photo, I thought the fat girl was rocking cute and no matter what the words said above her head, that came across. It is unfortunate that when she modeled for the photo she had no idea what it would be used for but that is the nature of the business. I noticed how smooth her skin was no blemishes and no vericose veins and even though they meant it to be negative they went to great lengths to make her look great. Playing the devils advocate: It would be interesting to find out from the agency if they actually employ plus sized escorts or rendevous? We might actually be surprised to find that the ad will incite and excite men to want fat women and not the opposite effect. How many venues allow plus-sized women to have that much visual play? Men cannot control their libido no matter how much fear mongoring the agency tries to push. Maybe they were really attempting to reach the market of men who want fat women but knew the ads would find objection if they pushed sexy fat women in a positive light as bad as that sounds. I just ask that from a marketing perspective we see it for what it really is, a way to make money and alot of it. Men who love fat women will still love fat women at the end of the day.

Erika Nicole Kendall November 22, 2011 - 2:53 PM

If I’m not mistaken, they do also run a “big girl hook up site.” Sigh.

cindylu November 22, 2011 - 8:40 PM

I’m not offended that the website exists. People are going to be cheaters if they want to be and some smart fool out there who wanted to make a buck found a way to do so.

I think the ad is offensive. If on a scale, I’d say about a 7-8. Fat shaming is all over the place and I think it should be called out more often. Also, I really like the model’s response.

NaturalBlackOne November 23, 2011 - 11:15 AM

The ad is really offensive, though I will say that it is not the case for every man to not like his wife if she’s fat. I am not with my husband right now, but my size was NEVER an issue. And from the time I met him until now I gained over 100 lbs! I was 16 and thinner, but still considered plus size when I met him. If I put on that outfit the plus sized model had on and threw myself on him, trust me, I would not get turned down. In fact, I have guys hitting on me now, so what does that say?? Men cheat because they may not be getting attention or they are just losers who don’t believe in commitment. But what this ad suggests, though disgusting, is wrong in most cases.

Sharilee November 24, 2011 - 1:51 AM

The answer is “10.” It offends me on every level.

Karmen December 1, 2011 - 11:31 AM

What most stood out to me was the ‘SCARE’ comment. The ad indicates the size 32 wife is scary because she is too fat – which of course assumes she was not that way prior to becoming married. My next thought is – what is happening in her world that constitutes the change? For thouse of us in the ‘struggle’, we know excess weight can be systemic of some unresolved emotional stuff, and if this is the case, then it can be reasoned that her emotional stuff happened post-marriage. Which leads me to wonder what role ‘potentially cheating hubby’ played in his wife’s scary transition….

Am I overthinking it? Absolutely; but I believe soothing one’s ego at the expense of another is completely cruel, regardless of how it manifests.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 1, 2011 - 11:41 AM

Are you overthinking it? Absolutely NOT. My assumption, also, was that she wasn’t always this way.

Monica December 1, 2011 - 11:39 AM

I think I’m more offended by the assisted adultery. In terms of fat shaming, it’s not right, but there are biological reasons behind men wanting a certain shape. The curvy hips and small stomach indicate a woman that is healthy enough to give birth and survive to help raise kids. If a husband wants their wife fit, I’d hope he would encourage her and workout with her. I would hope she would want to be healthy for her own good. To suggest that being fat is a ground for cheating, that offends me.

Juniysa Serens January 12, 2012 - 5:12 AM

10, because it promotes infidelity and insecurity. Besides, a cheater will cheat with anyone regardless of how they look; it is a matter of whether or not they are being satisfied with their partner at home.

Monica J January 15, 2012 - 12:02 AM

Im sure the “men” who would consider browsing that website are real prizes themselves…the whole thing is just sad. Its time for people to take a hard look in the mirror.

AngieJ January 15, 2012 - 3:01 AM

I had to think about this for a minute. As a formal heavy girl, I’m sensitive to weight issues. Yet I realize that web site promotes cheating. They promote breaking one of the most sacred vows one takes. Why would they care about offending fat people? Its all about the Benjamins baby and men are very visual. These ads will work. And the fact that we’re writing about the ad proves they get attention.

Emily February 24, 2012 - 7:31 PM

10. This is absolutely ridiculous. There is no reason that any website should be condoning adultery or the “picture perfect model type” is the only way to be sexy. I like what the model had to say about the picture.

Minnie April 19, 2012 - 2:25 PM

It offends me say… 100 000 000 over 10. Wrong on every possible level.

Walidah June 7, 2012 - 5:06 PM

I am not offended at all. This is the world we live in. Jezebel is not about being adulterous. This is a country of free enterprise. I know who I am — why should I be offended? This is how some people think.

Frances June 7, 2012 - 5:10 PM

This is just as insulting to men as it is to women. As if every man who sees this ad is going to think ‘fat bitches don’t deserve loving’. I know plenty of men who are just as attracted to a thicker woman as they are to a slim woman, and as someone who has worked (in the technology area) for an erotic website, I know for a fact that many men prefer a woman this way.

I’m not going to delve into that subject, but to say that all men like the same type of women is short sighted, to say the least. What about the many men who go to that site (which sickens me in and of itself) to LOOK for heavy set women?

Shay June 7, 2012 - 5:16 PM

I’m more offended that the picture was used to humiliate the overweight model. There are many models, big or small, who would take a picture and not give a damn where or what it is used for. This tacky ad just gives adulterers another reason to justify their decision to cheat, which is not surprising.

Shay June 7, 2012 - 6:32 PM

This is very sad…I realize the sites are out there for encouraging cheating but one to even advertise it…two if you are gonna cheat you shouldn’t put the blame with your partner but where it lies with you, the cheater…three the pictures give a very clear this is ok, but that is not..we have too many people with self esteem issues in regards to their bodies, thanks ashley madison for playing that up. All around it seems like a company full of people without any values that extend beyond their own selfish ones. Thanks for giving back to our society.

Mel June 7, 2012 - 9:14 PM

From what I hear, Ashley Madison’s main customer base are gay men looking to have an “on the low” relationship… And women seeking to cheat on their husbands.

tina December 28, 2012 - 3:23 PM


The one December 29, 2012 - 8:00 PM

I just feel really sorry for the model. Imagine how you would feel if your photos were being used in this manner, all over the internet. As for he business, I’m not surprised or offended, but I am disappointed. It seems that almost anything is considered fair game these days as long as there is a buck to be made.

Crystal December 30, 2012 - 1:22 AM

I would give this a 10. If only for the very reason that gender stereotypes exist.

Erynn May 3, 2013 - 4:39 PM

I can’t speak from an overweight (unhealthily so) woman’s POV but I can speak from a thin woman’s POV and I must say that the whole idea a website like this even exists is disheartening. That being said I gotta say if this were reversed and the poster had a very thin (anorexic) model being shamed and a larger woman being glorified I wholeheartedly believe the internet would explode w/ masses of woman in support of the ad. For some reason woman see no problem bashing and demonizing a very thin woman but as soon as the BBW are shamed ladies lose their mind. Long story short I’m very tired of this double standard. Being a size 32 is no healthier (if not worse) than being a size 00. Just something to keep in mind.

Myonie May 10, 2013 - 4:05 PM

As some other posters have said, considering the business, I don’t expect them not to be a vulgar and distasteful as possible to gain notice.To expect better is like going into a subway train station expected it to smell like gardenias, ain’t gone happen. Aside from that I hope that the fat model sues their drawers off. (no pun intended)

Lotusblsm25 July 24, 2013 - 11:31 AM

I’m offended by the idea that a plus size woman isn’t attractive. I’m not offended by people cheating. If that’s what they want to do and the people are willing participants it is not my business. A genuine faithful relationship is not going to be screwed up because of that ad. On the other hand, what other people have said, the body shaming is offensive. I feel like the more women pull away from buying into the hype the stronger the images will come.

The reality is there are plenty of women, the size of the woman in that picture, who are desired, wanted and loved. I’ll bet money there are men on that site who are attracted to women of that size. A woman is never a fetish, but our society thinks that being attracted to a woman that size is so abnormal and unacceptable that there must be something sexually devious about it and that’s just not the case.

Comments are closed.