Clothing brand LOFT is standing behind a hilarious video they posted to their Facebook page last week showing a woman frantically binge exercising in plastic wrap until she passes out. We suggested last week that the video was pretty dumb; in a statement to Today, they say we took it "out of context" and really it's all about self-love.
The video was a partnership with a comedy duo called #hotmessmoves; it is also, literally, a video of a woman weighing herself, wrapping her midsection in Saran wrap, then exercising until she loses consciousness, lolling on the floor until her roommate puts a pillow under her head. That's it. That's the joke. Insert LOFT logo here.
We got a few cries of "IT'S SATIRE" and "IT'S NOT EVEN AN AD" in the comments section of the original piece, and that is, evidently, the approach LOFT has decided to take as well. Their statement to Today is as follows:
We teamed up with the comediennes of #hotmessmoves to create a series of videos on LOFT.com, which prove your best resolution for 2015 should be to stay exactly the same, because you're perfect just the way you are.
Almighty God. In what possible way does frantic binge exercising showcase what a perfect, special, not-to-be-changed snowflake each of us is? (And by the way, Today, I didn't say the video was "body shaming," because I don't write that way and that wasn't my objection. I said it was fucking stupid, that the "humor" was premised on a dangerous binge exercising technique and that, all around, it's a pretty bad way to sell clothes.)
For that matter, how do any of #hotmessmoves' other videos for LOFT manage to showcase body positivity and "don't you ever change"? Like this one, where two affluent-looking white people can't quite figure out how to express their desire to sleep with one another. That is, until a shabbily dressed (I think he's supposed to read as "homeless") man shouts "GIRL, LOOK AT THOSE LEGS" at the woman as she walks away. Mistaking that lusty cry as coming from the affluent-looking guy, the woman rushes back and kisses him on the mouth.
"Thank you," the man mutters to the shabby guy.
"I'm here all day," Shabby Guy replies. Lol, aren't homeless people wacky? Here, buy a $90 bejeweled denim skirt!
LOFT ran a stupid video, and now they're defending it with the weakest, laziest kind of "body positive" pandering: "Oh girl, we were actually saying you're perfect! How'd you miss that?" That's because—and this just a theory here—they think you're stupid. They think you won't notice how nakedly dumb this video was, or the fact that it was meant to sell stuff by promoting a fun, hip, goofy image, and it failed. Because videos like this one are in fact ads; they're #branded #content designed to make us aware of the fact that LOFT still exists. And it sure did that. Just probably not in the way that they'd hoped.
Image via LOFT