Nina In New York: Reebok’s Unrealistic As*pirations
A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
By Nina Pajak
You’ve seen them—those television ads featuring a cast of womens’ perfectly toned lower halves jumping around and doing little booty dances as they wait tables, make photocopies, try on clothes, ride bicycles, vacuum, fix carburetors in their underwear, attend business meetings and political rallies in Daisy Dukes, etcetera. You know, typical girl stuff.
If you’re a man, these commercials are for . . . what? They’re for butts, right? Paid for by the National Council on Tight Behinds (NCTB)? Sure. But if you’re a woman, you’re supposed to watch these chicks and believe that their flawless, fatless, cellulite-free derrieres and bodies (see: Eva Mendes) are simply the universal result of wearing Reebok EasyTones, sneakers which purport to use “balance ball-inspired technology” to give you “better legs and a better butt with every step.”
Unsurprisingly, Reebok is now being held liable for $25 million dollars in customer refunds after the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection determined that their ads were deceptive and made unsubstantiated claims. Turns out EasyTones aren’t magical space-age booty-carving innovations. They’re just sneakers.
You mean, I can’t tone and firm my over-sized behind without doing any real work or changing my diet in a meaningful way? But. But. Those models on the T.V. looked so good! And all they were doing was weeding the yard in a thong bikini and EasyTones!
I am guessing that if you believed EasyTones were the answers to all your problems, you have never done a single squat in your life. No one who has suffered the pain and self-flagellation of attempting to shape one’s body through actual exercise would ever buy that junk. “Wait. Are you saying I’ve been in agony stair-climbing to nowhere and squat-walking around the gym all these years, practically in tears, and all I had to do was walk to the corner in those sneakers? That sounds believable! I’ll take three pairs. See ya later, health club suckers.”
I’m not saying the company shouldn’t be held responsible for pushing a product with questionable results, but I don’t think we can lay all the blame on Reebok. Advertisers have been selling us crap for as long as crap has been advertised. We as consumers should hold ourselves to a higher standard and try to be smart about what we choose to believe and where we spend our hard-earned money. This isn’t always easy, but here’s a quick and relatively foolproof place to start:
Nobody gets a perfect anything without sweating and cutting down on the Shake Shack double stacks. There are like, twelve mutants out there in the world who can load up on greasy food and take a stroll every day to maintain a phenomenal body, but the rest of us are just SOL. And as every quick fix solution is debunked, ten more crop up in its place. It’s up to us not to let them blind us with their booties.
So if you were one of those whose dreams were dashed, get your refund now and hope that the example set here encourages corporations to work a little harder to create a product that genuinely does what they say it will do. But in the meantime, let’s keep our expectations low and prove to everyone that women aren’t such an easy target as all that.
Now get that imperfect a** to the gym in your regular old sneakers. Good hustle!
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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