Body-shaming yogurt ad sparks online backlash

Source: Dutch Mill Myanmar
Source: Dutch Mill Myanmar

Myanmar netizens are accusing the Thailand-based dairy company Dutch Mill of “body-shaming” for running an ad in Myanmar that promotes its products’ alleged weight-loss properties at the expense of women and people with any visible body fat.

In the ad, posted on Facebook earlier this month, a woman sitting at a table eating a pastry flirts with a man by throwing her scarf at him. He seems interested, but when he picks the scarf up off the floor, he sees looks under the table and sees her belly protruding slightly over her jeans. He is instantly repulsed, and he throws her scarf back onto the floor.

As he turns to flee, he bumps into another woman whose belly does not protrude at all, and they glance suggestively at each other as they consume Dutch Mill products together.

The woman at the table sees them and sighs in defeat.

The ad appears to be a Burmanized version of a Thai ad, with thanaka photoshopped onto the first woman’s face. It follows an established tradition of body-shaming in the advertising of food products in Thailand, where rising obesity rates have caused panic in recent years. Bangkok’s Health Department has responded with campaigns using slogans such as “No Belly Fat”, and sugary drinks are often falsely labeled “zero percent fat”.

Myanmar netizens flocked to the video’s comments section to reprimand the company for its brazen body-shaming.

Dutch Mill has responded to the criticism by deleting almost all of the critical comments. The company also posted this statement: “Dutch Mill yogurt improves your digestive system and regulates your body from gaining additional fat…Don’t forget to drink Dutch Mill if you want to be beautiful and healthy.”

Coconuts has reached out to Dutch Mill for an explanation for why it has deleted the comments.

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