Sex toy company criticized for fat-shaming marketing

Pro tip: When you’re marketing your new sex toy, fat-shaming and misogyny should not be part of your strategy. But sex toy company WhizWorx seemed to have missed the memo—as demonstrated by a recent meme.

The company has been promoting FiFi, its new masturbation aid for men, via NSFW tweets and Instagram pictures using the hashtag #GetFiFi. These have included a meme of Louis C.K. defending his masturbation habits, and the American Pie-themed tweet “Save your whip cream for something important.” However, one of GetFiFi’s Instagram posts—a picture of a plus-sized woman in underwear and fishnet stockings titled “Make the right decision,” accompanied by the caption,“The walk of shame will be a lot shorter”—has provoked an angry reaction.

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Sex educator Sunny Megatron commented on the Instagram post, “Considering the importance of body positivity and anti-shaming in the sex positive community, one would think you wouldn’t use these offensive tactics to get sales… Go rethink your marketing and your ethics.”

A number of Twitter users soon expressed their distaste, and sex-positive educator Kara Sutra weighed in:

Sarah, a sex blogger, criticized the desexualizing of larger women:

The post appears to have been removed from the GetFiFi Instagram account, although it remains up at Twitter. Other tweets of the same picture with different captions, including “Regret that last drink yet?” and “Trust me, you’ll thank us in the morning,” appear to have been removed from Twitter.

Ill-advised body-shaming tactics aren’t limited to men’s brands: many fans of cosmetics brand Benefit were deeply disappointed earlier this year when its U.K. Twitter account participated in the hashtag #MakeAMovieAFatty. When criticized by Twitter users, Benefit followed the now-familiar pattern of first deleting the tweet, then claiming it was joking, and finally apologizing.

In October, the ugly “Project Harpoon” returned to Twitter after being blocked, and continued its apparently “pro-health” project of digitally altering plus-sized people (mostly women) to make them look slimmer. As the Daily Dot reported, there is much evidence to suggest that the Project is an elaborate scam by 4chan trolls to enrage feminists.

Photo via Jonathan Rolande/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Catherine Scott

Catherine Scott

Catherine Scott is the author of 'Thinking King: The Collusion of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture.' Scott's work has been published in the Telegraph, the Guardian, Ms. Magazine, and Salon.