In the U.S., the commercials produced by the diet company Weight Watchers follow a fairly regular script, encouraging dieters to "conquer" hunger and "show it who's boss." American viewers might be surprised, then, by the company's latest French commercial, which features models with metallic or glitter-encrusted lips gnawing on a chicken leg, french fries and even a sardine.
The ad's tagline "Treat Yourself Better" is in keeping with the Weight Watchers mantra that dieting shouldn't mean deprivation, but the imagery pushed this idea outside the comfort zone of some American viewers. One U.S. blogger called it "creepy" and "phallic" and another "Dieting Dentata," which walks "a weird line between empowering and degrading."
At the very least, it seems in line with the French philosophy towards food, as represented in and proselytized by books like "French Women Don't Get Fat." The idea is that food should never be a guilty indulgence and that maintaining a slim physique by no means involves skipping pastries and Merlot -- or, it seems, chicken legs, french fries or sardines.
Given how closely it seems to fit its national context, the new commercial suggests that the way diets are advertised in other countries might reflect those countries' specific attitudes towards dieting. Here's a look at recent diet ads in various nations and what they could be saying about how intentional weight loss is viewed in those places.
WATCH: 7 Diet Ads From Around The World