There are ways to advertise coffee without involving bikini bods

19 05 2009

Misogynist marketing… it doesn’t stop, does it?

I’ve been following Becky Sharper’s posts (see here, here and here) on The Pursuit of Harpyness about Joe The Art of Coffee (in the Village in New York City) and their public shaming. Joe’s always has a chalkboard outside beckoning people to come in. Last Saturday, May 16th, the chalkboard said:

Get Your Bikini Bod Back. Skim Lattes Are Here!

See Why It’s Called a ‘Skinny Latte!’

As if there isn’t enough fat shaming already. “Bikini season” and getting on a “bikini diet” so you can have a “bikini bod” translate to “Women, unless you are really skinny, you are unattractive. So be skinny!…or else no man is going to like you.”

When Becky notified Joe’s of how she thought the message on their chalkboard was shitty and offensive, she received this response:

No, the manager didn’t realize it offended people. It was meant strictly as a joke; tongue in cheek. We serve Full Fat milk unless asked not to on all drinks, and are actually prone to think it’s silly to ruin coffee with skimmed milk. I, for one, think it tastes watery and ruins coffee, but to each their own.

I am sorry if this joke offended. However, we give rein to our talented barista/artists to create new and different boards. I was surprised at how virulent a response was created on that blog, and think someone made a mountain out of a molehill. However, I will ask them to change it.

“It was meant strictly as a joke; tongue in cheek” – back to the whole oops I said something that offended you? Well, whatever it was just a joke. Can’t take a joke? Gee, lighten up! Gosh, those darn feminists have no sense of humor!

And “I am sorry if this joke offended” is barely an apology. Way to not take ownership for your misogynist marketing. So they didn’t do anything offensive, they just made a joke that offended some oversensitive people who “made a mountain out of a molehill”. Because anytime a feminist objects to misogyny, it’s just an overreaction.

I am sick of these not even half-assed apologies. Sorry if you are offended by something that’s just a harmless little joke. You’re making a big deal out of nothing.

And this morning, Becky informs us that Joe’s chalkboard said:

Caffeine burns calories*
Let Joe’s Help You Get A Bikini Bod


Here we go again with the bikini bods. Women, you better make sure you can rock a bikini at the beach this summer! So you need to lose weight and be skinnier so you can have that bikini bod! (The way your body looks is the most important thing after all.)
When she emailed Joe’s expressing her objections to yet another sexist chalkboard ad, she got this reply:
They took it in this morning. I think they didn’t get the message but now it’s gone. Just for the record, it was created by 2 of our female baristi as a joke.
Spelling mistake (it’s not baristi, it’s baristas or bariste) aside, Joe’s just pulled another classic anti-feminist idiotic, illogical response: the well, women did it…and women can’t possibly be sexist or misogynist…therefore it’s not offensive!
I’m banging my head against a wall.



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