A five-minute commercial from Thailand is going viral and not for the reason you’d think. At the time of reporting, it had been viewed 27 million times on Facebook and shared by 335,486 users.
The advert opens with a pair of workers pining over the superhandsome guy in their office. One of them clutches a beauty magazine and vows that if she can just look like the woman on the cover she can win the office hunk’s heart.
As said office hunk walks out arm in arm with a beautiful woman, waving goodbye to the pair, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a commercial about body positivity and loving yourself just the way you are. This is not that kind of commercial. See below:
One of the women lashes out at the office hunk and throws the beauty magazine after him, hitting the copy machine instead. Plot twist: The copy machine transports the women into the future. Yes, really.
Once in the year 2030, they find that new technology has endowed everyone with the most beautiful face possible. They see their future selves and despite a futuristic facelift they are still single and longing after the same old office hunk. (Personally I’d be more concerned about being in the exact same office job for 15-plus years, but it doesn’t seem to bother either of our time-traveling heroines.)
Second plot twist: A slender woman with a regular face becomes the center of attention. The time travelers investigate and uncover her secret: weight-loss coffee. Of course! The secret to finding true love is not being a good person but not being fat!
With extreme gusto the two knock back cup after cup of coffee and return to the present. Now several dress sizes smaller, they’re the stars of the office, have office hunk at their feet and the life they’ve always dreamed of. No word if they brought back the cure for all diseases or perfected clean energy technology from the future.
The reaction to the commercial runs the gamut from confused to offended. “I thought that it was going to be this deeply moving story about accepting the beauty that you are and not living to today’s standards of what beauty is. Now I want coffee.” writes Jamie Fultz on Facebook.
“Just another body shaming commercial trying to say if you’re skinny you will find love, I’m fat I got married fat, still married, because I’m not married to some shallow minded man. Pathetic what they’re feeding these young girls today,” writes Vanessa Shelby.
Looking at the commercial through a modern Western lens it’s easy to condemn the ad for “fat-shaming.” Public opinion in Thailand on body-weight may very well tell a different story; Thai consumers might watch this and find it inspirational.
It’s not the first time Nature Gift Coffee has suggested the secret to happiness is a slimmer you. A 2009 ad for the brand created by Ogilvy & Mather has a young girl obsessing over a pop star. Even after she realizes her Thai Justin Bieber is, in fact, gay she resists a delicious meal and goes to work out instead.
On the one hand it seems to be saying your only hope for happiness is to not be fat, on the other it encourages healthy lifestyle choices.
According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity and related illnesses are the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. after smoking. Two-thirds of U.S. adults are considered overweight and cost the health care industry $190 billion a year. Childhood obesity alone accounts for $14 billion annually.
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Here Are America’s Fattest Cities, Ranked
- The World’s Heaviest Woman Is Only 36 Years Old
- For 20 Years She Thought She Was Overweight — But It Was Actually a 140-Pound Tumor