Women's groups criticise Taiwanese advert for 'promoting large breasts as a beauty standard'

The controversial yogurt advert has been called misleading and inappropriate for children

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 5:18pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 8:01pm

A Taiwanese yogurt advert has come under fire from women’s rights organizations, who claim that it may mislead young girls into thinking that sizeable breasts are a necessary requirement for prettiness.

The 30 second advert, filmed by Taiwanese dairy manufacturer Fresh Delight, first aired in late June. It promotes a brand of green papaya flavoured yogurt by showing a conversation between a little girl and a young woman.

“When I grow up I want to be as pretty as you are,” the girl says, commenting that her older counterpart’s skin is “as white as yogurt”.

The advert then shows several shots of the two comparing each other’s physiques before settling on a closeup of the older woman’s breasts. After noticing them, the little girl pouts jealously.

“As long as you eat one of these a day, then you’ll grow up to be just as beautiful as I am,” the older woman says, giving the little girl a cup of yogurt.

Watch: Fresh Delight green papaya flavoured yogurt advert

Women’s groups including the Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women’s Rights (TAPWR) and the Taiwan Women’s Link (TWL) lashed out at the advert in a June 24 press conference, calling it inappropriate.

According to reports by local newspapers The China Post and Taipei Times, TAPWR executive director Chien Shu-pei claimed that the advert was misleading and promoted unhealthy beauty standards.

“The commercial…insinuates that its papaya-flavoured yogurt has the effect of enhancing breast size, [which] constitutes a violation of [Taiwan’s] Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, [which] stipulates that the…advertisements of foods should not be false, exaggerated or misleading,” Chien said at a press conference.

“In the past, we have seen too many car, computer and food commercials using women as a marketing tool, but at least their advertising models and target audiences are grown people,” added TWL director-general Huang Shu-ying.

“It is apparent that the yogurt commercial primarily targets young children and seeks to instill the notion that large breasts are something every girl should aspire to. We strongly deplore the company’s advertising strategy, which pursues profit at the expense of children’s rights to develop a healthy sense of self-worth.”

TAPWR and TWL have both called for Fresh Delight to stop airing the advert and for Taiwan’s government to crack down on similar situations in the future.

Recently, a shortened version of the advert without the breast closeup has been spotted on Taiwanese television.

Taiwanese commentators online had a mixed reaction, with some offended by the advert and others untroubled.

"I was shocked...when I first saw the ad," one commentator on The China Post wrote. "As a father, I felt offended how the commercial attempts to put that kids or women should have big breasts."

“I just found the link to the advert in question and it's a big fuss about nothing,” another disagreed. "[The older girl] doesn't [even] have large breasts...or if she does, the green top isn't that flattering."