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Trending: Behind every ad man is a 'real' woman


The red swimsuit-clad model has been given her marching orders by Special K cereal, which is using "plus-sized real women" in its ads for the first time. The new campaign, called "What will you gain when you lose?", shows a gaggle of nervous women stepping onto scales in Covent Garden expecting to be weighed, but instead of revealing how many pounds they are, they are given inspirational messages such as "Amazing", "Stylish", "Glowing", "Patronised". Sorry, I added that last one.

While companies should be applauded for steering away from using identikit waifs, why do the "real women" they use (what is a "real woman" anyway?) come across as simpering fools? And while they might not be models, are we really expected to believe they're not being paid? (Please tell me they're being paid.)

Ever since Dove started featuring women of all shapes and sizes in their ads back in 2004, everyone from Nike to WeightWatchers has jumped on the bandwagon. It's great to see diversity, I only wish the adverts weren't so painfully cheesy, perpetuating adland's warped idea of what female empowerment actually means.