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Pro-Ana Snacks

There has been a lot of RAGE in the blogosphere lately about the various horrible slogans trotted forth by the makers of Pretzel Crisps.  Their first slogan was "You can never be too thin."  They followed up with "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." 

Both of these are slogans which are cherished by the pro-anorexic communities.  (Yes, that's a real thing.  Yes, they are terrifying.  No, you shouldn't check them out.  Yes, they're mostly on Livejournal.) 

You frequently find them amateurishly photoshopped over the picture of an unhealthily skinny woman, and passed around as "thinspiration."  Oh how I wish I was kidding.

So now Pretzel Crisps is coming out with a new slogan, "We're thin and stacked."  Which is pretty much a gigantic middle finger to anyone who complained about the first two slogans. 

I have this mental image of a bunch of former frat boys sitting around a conference table, giggling about the reaction to their first two slogans, and trying to come up with something worse.  And they always refer to people who complained as "bunch 'a fatties."

Here's what really gets me, though.  THIS IS FOOD. 

THEY ARE USING PRO-ANA SLOGANS TO SELL FOOD.

FOOOOOOOOOD.

Is this a new market?  Food for anorexics?  In what kind of world can that possibly make sense? 

OH WAIT. 

Actually, there is an entire underground market of food being pitched to anorexics.  It's sold with a wink and a nudge, and your over-controlling parents are none the wiser. 

Activia, for example.  The artificially sweetened yogurt that helps with "regularity."  Any substance which acts as a laxative is very popular with the pro-ana crowd, as you might imagine.  Activia contains a lot of fiber and makes you poop, plus it includes calcium which is a substance that anorexics' bodies frequently lack.

The genius part of this plan?  It's pitched as a wholesome health food to older women, with Jamie Lee Curtis giving it that "real woman" cred.  But rest assured, the pro-ana community hasn't missed the message.

I have also seen a surprising number of sugarless gums positioning themselves as "dessert."  The latest is a gum that comes in Strawberry Cheesecake flavor.  This is such a crazy and depressing idea that the only sense I can make of it is that it's positioned as a treat for anorexics.  Considering any other possibility makes me lose the will to live. 

Laxative yogurt and sugarless gum is one thing.  But now we have pretzel chips?  How stupid do they think anorexics are?  Let me tell you something: if anyone knows how to count calories, it's an anorexic.  You cannot trick an anorexic girl with marketing slogans; she's going to zoom straight in on the Nutritional Info panel. 

And what will she find there?  She will find that one serving of Pretzel Crisps - 11 crisps - has 110 calories.  110!  That's equivalent to half a Snickers bar!  It's actually FEWER calories than a can of Coke Classic!

It boggles the mind that anyone would have the guts to advertise something so high in calories with pro-anorexia slogans.  That, for me, is the really astounding thing about this whole big mess.   

Photo credit: Flickr/bejealousofme