Patricia Rose Boyd
Arizona State University
This article analyzes Charles Barkley’s “Lose Like a Man” Weight Watchers advertising campaign in order to illustrate the ways that weight loss advertising continues to einforce limiting and harmful gendered stereotypes. In the campaign, Barkley’s celebrity endorsement works to provide men with an acceptable path to joining weight loss programs without jeopardizing their associations with/beliefs in hegemonic masculinity. Through studying the print and television ads that Barkley was featured in, we see the ways that men work to distance themselves from cultural perceptions weight loss culture as a feminized set of practices while at the same time participating in them. While his advertising campaign could have challenged dominant cultural views of weight loss and overweight bodies, Barkley’s ads propogated hegemonic masculinity.