What is the diet piggy, the controversial toy that screams when you open the fridge?
We are used to thinking that beauty is a social construction but, while this is 100% true, it is also a commercial good. An exchange product, transaction booster and profit generator. Beauty is an element that is part of conversations about marketing strategies, ad creation, campaign production and new product development.
This fact has a key impact on people’s daily lives: as there are more and more movements that denounce the toxicity of imposed beauty models and seek to promote diverse, natural and healthy bodies; part of society and industries in general still have an old-fashioned look and promote harmful messages. Irrefutable proof of this is the launch of the controversial toy, “Diet Piggy”.
Developed by Toys’R (one of the most important North American companies in the toy market), the diet piggy is -literally- a little dog. The size of a medium speaker, it is designed for users to put it inside the refrigerator or cupboard and so, when they open it to (in theory) peck at something, it screams in the search to discourage this habit. In other words, it works in a very similar way to business alarms that sound when a new customer enters the premises and they are in the warehouse.
This is the description that appears in the ecommerce where you can buy the product: “Are you trying to lose a few kilos this year? Or maybe just cut back on snacking? Do you often find yourself in the kitchen looking for a snack in the fridge or cupboards? The best way to stay out of the kitchen is to stay busy. Get a loyal friend on board to help you shed those pounds: The Diet Piggy.” and adds: “Put it in the fridge or some other place where you keep your candy. Whenever you open the door he will greet you with a loud “OINK OINK”. This sound will remind you that you start to look like a pig if you have this piece of French cheese from the fridge. A simple but effective way to ruin your appetite. The Diet Piggy is operated by a light sensor. This means that it will make a noise when you open the fridge and it will stop when you close it again.”.
The first of the points is more than clear: From the conception of this toy to its description for sale, they are terribly dangerous to society. Making any eating disorder invisible and promoting toxic practices around food, in addition ridicule, objectify and denigrate. Undoubtedly, it is a toy that promotes a harmful model of beauty and that becomes a form of psychological violence.
Situation that worsens even more when we understand that the Diet Piggy is cataloged for ages “from 8 to 11 years”. That is to say, it is a toy that was conceived to be used by children at a critical age, of identity definition and who do not have the necessary tools to process this type of product, its potential damages and the risks that -using it- can have. on your physical and mental health.
There were many users from all over the world who raised their voices against this horrible toy and warned about the enormous risks of having it on the market, being sold and available. Among them, the Mexican activist and influencer Jessica Fernandez Garcia, shared an analysis that perfectly sums up what we all think:
As expected, Toys’R came out to apologize for the release of this product. First, he maintained that it was misclassified and, in reality, it was a toy for adults. He later withdrew it from all of his stores around the world. However – and still dangerous – the Diet Piggy is still available from third-party stores.