“Halloween‘s coming. You gotta stay in shape for all those sexy Halloween costumes.”
The idea Subway is getting across is that while summer’s over, Halloween is here, so women who’ve spent the past six months working out, waxing, tanning, and trying to meet impossible beauty standards in order to fit into a bikini should do it all over again in order to properly celebrate a holiday primarily known for involving a lot of candy.
So we get “Sexy Nurse” and “Spicy Red Riding Hood,” as the female cosplayer in the ad gives a sloe-eyed come-hither look to a dude stuffing his face with a burger.
To Subway’s credit, apart from the short skirts the cosplayer wears, none of the costumes are revealing—but they get the message across.
Halloween costumes have frequently been the targets of feminine rage over their sexist double standards and oversexualized adult versions of characters from children’s stories. Furthermore, female cosplayers have worked diligently over the last two years to put out the message that cosplay is not consent, but a national ad campaign that promotes the idea that women in cosplay are there to perform for and be physically fit and sexy for men negates that message altogether.
But why should that keep Subway from embracing those double standards if it will help sell a macademia nut cookie or two?
Comments have been disabled on the video, but the Internet has been vocal about expressing its displeasure.
Can’t say I’m loving @SUBWAY‘s new ad. Women have other reasons to eat healthy besides looking good in swim suits or sexy nurse costumes.
— Jackie Snyder (@JaxMarcomm) October 3, 2014
Really, @Subway? We should eat your crappy sandwiches so we can look hot in skanky Halloween costumes? REALLY?
— Kristina Meek (@meek_the_geek) October 3, 2014
Just saw the new @SUBWAY commercial shaming people into being “in shape for Halloween costumes”. Way to be misogynistic AND sizeist.
— Dot Mitzvah (@dotmitzvah) September 30, 2014
subway just had a commercial that said to stay healthy so you can wear slutty Halloween costumes. You can’t beat that logic
— eli mcnair (@hackxsack) September 30, 2014
Don’t really appreciate the new @SUBWAY commercial ‘whatever you stay fit for’ How about staying fit not to just wear ‘sexy’ costumes?
— Lauren (@lrobmeow) September 29, 2014
Looks like we’ll have to write this ad up as an early unexpected “trick” of the Halloween season.
Screengrab via YouTube